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Afrofuturism, Kinesthetics, Kinematics & Biomechanics: Beyond the Speculative

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses Afrofuturism, which is a multidisciplinary field encompassing science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). It explores how Afrofuturism can be applied to various areas, including dance, computer vision, and biomechanics.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Afrofuturism and STEAM

1. What is Afrofuturism, and how does it relate to STEAM?

  • Afrofuturism is a multidisciplinary field that includes science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM).
  • The term "Afrofuturism" was coined by writer Mark Dery in the late 1990s.
  • Afrofuturism allows practitioners to freely explore possibilities and impossibilities alike inside and outside of STEAM.

2. How does the article connect Afrofuturism to dance and movement?

  • The article discusses the "mutant" dance of Storyboard P, which is described as otherworldly and sometimes alien.
  • Storyboard P's dance is linked to STEAM through the concepts of kinesthetics, kinematics, and biomechanics.
  • Physics teachers can use Storyboard P's performances to explore embodied imagining, a key concept in both physics and dance.

[02] Afrofuturism and Computer Vision

1. How does the article discuss the use of computer vision and AI in Afrofuturism?

  • The article mentions that facial recognition enabled by computer vision is known to be biased based on race and gender.
  • The author worked with a dancer and designer to develop the Carnival app, which uses pose estimation, a fundamental task in computer vision and AI, to simulate the Caribbean Carnival and interrogate AI.
  • The Carnival app uses kinematics and AI in a way that celebrates Afrofuturism.

[03] Biomechanics and Afrofuturistic Performances

1. How does the article explore the use of biomechanics in Afrofuturistic performances?

  • The article discusses the alien character played by Bolaji Badejo in the film "Alien" and the exo-voice sonological interface developed by busker Onyx Ashanti.
  • The article states that biomechanics can be used to explore these motion-based performances, including understanding muscle use, forces acting on the body, issues of motor control, and the interaction between body parts.
  • The author created an Instructable called "Design a Biomechanical Cyborg" to show teachers how to explore biomechanics with their middle school students.
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