k. funmilayo aileru is an AfroIndigenous, AfroFuturist artist, educator, and organizer. xe employs a variety of mediums including digital media, sculpture, and installation to engage concepts such as [ancestral] memory, trauma, and Otherness within celestial time and space. Much of xyr work explores historical, present, and future relationships between technology and Black and Indigenous experiences and embodiment in the West. aileru experiments with reconstructing these paradigms through collective imagination and dreaming.
k. funmilayo aileru is from the South Side of Providence, RI, and an enrolled member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island. Currently, ze is an inaugural ‘Parkist-in Residence’ for the City of Providence and a Rhode Island grantee of Assets for Artist program at MassMoCa. aileru is the Education Manager at AS220 (Providence, RI), a Critic in Sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, and co-founder of blackearth lab (Providence, RI).
aileru received zir MFA in Digital + Media from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2017 and, in 2014, received xyr B.A. in Media Culture Studies and Media Arts from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA). xe has participated in exhibitions and residencies throughout the Northeast region and has received several grants and awards in digital art and design.
I inhabit a horrendous nightmare that is eclipsed by the legacy of alien invasion. I am a descendant of both alien abductees and survivors of alien experimentation. For this reason, my creative practice is situated in a postcolonial, speculative space that is beyond Earth. My Blackness, Indigeneity, and Queerness expands beyond the bounds of my earthly tether to death and the dying. This practice is not a vehicle for escapism, but is a mechanism to actualize radical imagination.
As Mars is positioned as the New Frontier, I wonder what my social, cultural, and political positioning and experience might look and feel like in an extraterrestrial space. I look to the aesthetics of science fiction as an appropriate context for workshopping this imposition. I approach this kind of critical thinking to render my wildest dreams.
Using technological materials and digital media, I queer masculine designations of metal, glass, and wire with feminine attributions and reappropriate popular sci-fi aesthetics to transcend its inherent white supremacy. In the spirit of Audre Lorde, I use the master’s tools not to dismantle his house, but to build my own.