Building a Museum 353 Years in the Future.

Ari Melenciano
14 min readJul 3, 2018

An exploration on the eradication of racial oppression in future times, through speculative design and futuristic ideating of a utopian city and society called, Afrotopolis.

We’re fighting for a better future. But what does that future actually look like? What will it feel like when Black Americans are no longer living in intensely toxic situations that have been carefully designed for White American gain? What type of art would Black artists be able to make when we no longer have to simultaneously fulfill our artistic needs while also fighting to push our culture forward? What will happen when automation entirely wipes out the proletariat and a war on current societal standards have erupted? This is a speculative exploration on the future through a Blackness lens on the psycho-geography of afro-futurism and societal design.


This July 2018, Ace Hotel in New York City is hosting Artists in Residencies, curated by Taeyoon Workshop, whose Distributed Web of Care (DWC) research initiative explores the Distributed Web as a peer-to-peer, alternative web which prioritizes collective agency and individual ownership of data and code. Through collaborations with artists, engineers, social scientists and community organizers, DWC imagines distributed networks as a form of interdependence and stewardship, in critical opposition to the networks that dominate the world today. Taeyoon Choi is an artist and cofounder of School for Poetic Computation and a fellow at Data and Society.

Part I

As one of the Ace Hotel in New York City Artist-In-Residence (curated by Taeyoon Choi), I began my 24 hour residency by presenting a skillshare, where there were about 15 participants, a mix of artists, designers, activists and engineers, who signed up to participate. The presentation started with a survey of my past works from building cameras, to creating a new media arts, culture and technology festival called Afrotectopia, to the data visualizations I’ve built that analyze the relationships between music video cinematography with the rhetoric and sentiments within lyrics. After the survey of past works, I dived into more recent thoughts on the structure of America and the ways these structures have been identified and highlighted within different pieces of art.