UK, 1996. The Data Thief is a hacker whose forced displacement, cultural alienation and otherness are grounded by relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel and rapidly progressing computer technology.
His experience of cultural dislocation, alienation and estrangement seems at odds with the apparatus of power in society. Son of George Clinton, Sun Ra, and Lee Scratch Perry, he is black. He deals with the subject, the narrative in science fiction, the form itself.
Included are interviews with musicians DJ Spooky, Goldie, and Derek May; Astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., one of the first African-Americans in space; Star Trekís Nichelle Nichols who, looks for a greater role for African-Americans in NASA.
Interviews are intercut with images of Pan-African life from different periods of history, jumping between time and space not unlike surfing the Internet.
Text: Marty Spellerberg. Images: John Akomfrah, Last Angel of History (UK, 1996, 45:00), courtesy of V tape. Thanks to curator Renaldo Jordan.