IT NEVER RAINS
UNDER THE BLACK RAINBOW
Prompts For the Afro-Future
by J. Benjamin Burney
Using poetry inspired prompts AI images were created depicting an apocalyptic fantasy of the Black American Future. Key symbols and iconography of this series is the rainbow which is a Biblical symbol which appeared after the Noah’s flood and is the origins for a colloquial phrase made popular by African American writer James baldwin “God gave Noah the sign of the rainbow, no more water, the Fire next time.”
The rainbow also represents a bridge between heaven and earth and even so knowing that the rainbow is symbolized by Issac Newton’s Light experimnets to derive our modern scientific distinctions of colors summed up in the acronymn ROYGBIV.
Lastlt the rainbow represents the queering of the Black experience in america, no matter your sexual orientation, this queering is an entry point for New Age ideas around the rainbow children and their purpose to heal the world during this age.
The use of highly saturated colors is another visual rhyme that creates an entedre between the rainbow and all its meanings and our distinctions, mainly racially when it comes to color. This aestehtic works alsop within the destruction of the image as these hacked symbols begin to bleed these saturated colors.
There is also a sense of religioisity, childhood, and play associated in these images that is why the 3 michaels piece stands out as a critque on what it means to play.
A unifying theme is the end of the world, from far away these images appear docile or cute but the closwer we get the more of the indious nature of the art and theme become prevalent, this is a celbration of the end, an end which will be a utopia for some but a dystopia for those who benefit from the system today.
“The future is folk.”