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Quentinvercetty missingblacktechnofossilshere
Quentin VerCetty, Ancestral Technofossil Ancestral Plane, 2022. Expanded media, augmented reality with digital bronze and digital marble. Courtesy of VerCetty Made It Studios

Self-Guided Tour – Quentin VerCetty: Missing Black Technofossils Here

  • Event
  • Free
  • Public Art
  • Contemporary Art

Montréal Various locations

For all ages

Free

To find out where the artworks are located, please consult the map of Montréal below.

A guided tour facilitated by VerCetty will take place on July 8, 2023. After this event, an audio guide of the artist-suggested sites will be provided publicly on July 9, 2023.

Self-Guided Visit in Augmented Reality

QV To U 001 Ancestral Technofossil montreal

Missing Black Technofossils Here (2020-2023) addresses the lack of representation of people of African descent in the public sphere by revisiting select regional public spaces and monuments through an AR experience. Users can rediscover narratives that have been excluded from history and digitally disrupt, decolonize, and insert their own speculative landmarks in public space. These landmarks can subsequently be documented and preserved forever in digital form, either on the users’ devices (which become technofossils of their own) or on the World Wide Web.

In this Montréal iteration, Missing Black Technofossils Here will feature six historical sites, where you will be able to take pictures and videos to add an Ancestral Technofossil to any chosen public space.

Missing Black Technofossils Here is informed by the Afrofuturism movement, which uses technology, speculation, metaphysics, and, in some cases, science fiction together with African diasporic and continental legacies to explore healing and evolution from an African perspective. This concept of connecting the past, present, and future is referred to as “Sankofa,” and the practice of it is called “Sankofanology.” Afrofuturism and AR highlight the potential and power of the speculative as a catalyst for change and transformation of a person’s reality and experience. As a Sankofanology practice, AR connects to Afrofuturism by allowing for shared imaginative experiences through a platform where time and space are altered.

The Missing Black Technofossils Here walking tour was inspired by and is in dialogue with other initiatives, such as Camille Turner’s Miss Canadiana Heritage and Culture Walking Tour (2011), which took place in Toronto; Dr. Dorothy W. Williams and Black Community Resource Centre (BCRC)’s memoryscape, Living History: 100 Years of Black History, Culture and Heritage; and Rito Joseph’s Black Montreal Experiences.

How to experience Missing Black Technofossils Here: a step-by-step guide

Quentinvercetty howto

Step 1. On this webpage, with your smartphone or tablet, make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network or using your cellular data.

Step 2. Scroll down to AR Experience on this page, and please wait and give 5 to 10 seconds for the AR experience to load.

Step 3. For each site located on the map, look around you, and with your smartphone camera, focus your lens on a flat surface. An augmented reality monument will appear in front of you.

Step 4. If you wish to add your own Black Technofossil to a specific site, the AR experience will allow you to save photos and videos of the monument to your phone. Recognize that shaping the past is to forge the future through casting the mold of the present.

An Ancestral Technofossil is meant to be a place-marker, indicating where Black data and history are misrepresented or not acknowledged.

Step 5. We would love to see your photos! Please share your photos and videos with us of the Black Technofossil in your chosen environment. Use the hashtag #MissingBlackTechnofossils and tag the artist and the PHI Foundation on Instagram and/or Twitter:

Instagram: @keepgrowingq
Twitter: @nonfungibleq

Instagram: @fondationphi
Twitter: @FondationPHI

AR Experience

Please let the experience load before clicking on the AR icon.
QV Montreal Map EN

Explore the sites

Provided locations shown below have been selected by the artist. Missing Black Technofossils Here is also meant to encourage the discovery of other sites where Black data and history are important. Users can share these new sites with PHI and the artist via social media, using the hashtag #MissingBlackTechnofossils.

BLACK TECHNOFOSSILS MONTREAL SITE TOUSSAINT PARK

1. Toussaint Louverture Park and Statue

137 de Maisonneuve Boulevard East, Montréal, QC H2X 1J6

Visit this site and learn more about the community that existed in the area before the park was renamed in honour of Louverture. including activists like Alexander Grant. Use the AR to suggest additional Black Montréal icons and data that could, or should, have their own technofossils.

BLACK TECHNOFOSSILS MONTREAL SITE MARIEJOSEPH

2. Marie-Joseph Angélique Commemorative Plaque

414 de Vaudreuil Street, Montréal, QC H2Y 3P4

Find the commemorative plaque and learn about the history that changed the course of Montréal forever. There are plenty of descriptions of Madame Angélique but no physical markers that represent her—you can use the AR to address this lack of representation and digitally landmark this history.

BLACK TECHNOFOSSILS MONTREAL SITE MAISONNEUVE

3. Maisonneuve Monument

Place d’Armes, Montréal, H2Y 2W3

Discover some of the facts about Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, and some of his overlooked party members, which are aspects of his story that are missing and not included in his commemorative monument. Use the AR to acknowledge the Missing Black Technofossils Here.
BLACK TECHNOFOSSILS MONTREAL SITE BOER MEMORIAL BURIAL GROUND

4. Boer War Memorial over the Old Black Burial Ground

Dorchester Square, 2903 Peel Street, Montréal, QC H3B 4J5

At this site, you are invited to use the AR to deconstruct the only equestrian monument in Montréal that celebrates British imperialism and colonization. You will also unearth a forgotten burial ground that marked the height of the Catholic and Protestant conflict in the region, along with the middle ground they found through a particular community. With no representation of this part of Montréal Black history, take a video or photo with AR placed on the site to help address the Missing Black Technofossils Here.

BLACK TECHNOFOSSILS MONTREAL SITE SLEEPING PORTERS

5. Black Railway Porters Commemorative Plaque

1100 des Canadiens-de-Montréal Avenue, Montréal, QC, H3B 2S2

At this site, you are invited to explore the general plaque that is meant to honour a more than century-long history of resilience and the community building that took place with the fight and plight for Black worker rights since 1867. Take a video or photo with the AR placed on the site to help address the Missing Black Technofossils Here.

To learn more visit the Parks Canada website.

BLACK TECHNOFOSSILS MONTREAL SITE OSCAR PETERSON PARK

6. Oscar Peterson Park

Chatham Street, Montréal, QC H3J 1Z5

At this site, you are invited to encounter the history of Little Burgundy and some of the stories about a few of the iconic historical figures who once resided in the region. Take a video or photo with the AR placed on the site to help address the Missing Black Technofossils Here.


Audio Guide

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Introduction

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Toussaint Louverture Statue

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Place Marie-Joseph Angélique

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Maisonneuve Statue

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Boer War Memorial Over the Old Black Burial Ground

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Black Railway Porters Commemorative Plaque

  • Missing Black Technofossils Here - Oscar Peterson Park

Biography

Quentin VerCetty

Winner of the 2020 Joshua Glover Memorial competition to create Toronto’s first monument to a person of African descent, 2020 Fellow of Monument Lab, and recipient of the Governor-General's Bronze Medal, Quentin VerCetty (Lindsay) is a multi-award-winning, multidisciplinary visual griot, artpreneur, educator, artivist, and an ever-growing interstellar tree. With a BFA from OCAD University (2017) and an MA in Art Education from Concordia University (2021), he is one of the world’s leading Afrofuturist a/r/tographers. His scholarly work looks at Afrofuturism as a teaching tool, coining the terms Sankofanology as a lens and Rastafuturism as a concept. 

VerCetty’s creative works speculate on social issues and the imaginative futures of representation and preservation of the memories of people of African descent. VerCetty is one of the foundational leaders of the international Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) and started the BSAM Canada Institute chapter in 2016 to help combat systemic anti-Black erasure and improve the creative industry for artists of African descent in Canada. VerCetty is the co-editor of the first Canadian Afrofuturism art anthology, Cosmic Underground Northside: An Incantation of Black Canadian Speculative Discourse and Innerstandings (2020), which includes the contributions of 30 writers and highlights works of over 100 Black Canadian artists, documenting the growing contemporary art movement of Afrofuturism in the country.

Through his work, he hopes to engage minds and inspire hearts to help to make the world a better place, not only for today, but for many tomorrows to come.

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