I'm pro-Black and non-binary. My pronouns are she/her, but I don't necessarily identify as a woman, or any gender for that matter. Blackness affirms my being, tho. The ways others articulate blackness, perform it, theorize it, make it a kaleidoscopic culture. I find myself in conversation with the ways people think about their idea of blackness.
My work is centered around concepts of speculation, phantasm, shadows, the not-quite-here, surrealism, horror, and so on. I'm interested in obscurity and wondering how I and others build a whole world around it. I think about the underlying logics and reasonings that motivate these worlds, acting as their engine. These worlds reveal moments of contention between colonial, capitalist, anti-Black limitations placed on Black people in the materials worlds and the ecstatic practices by Black communities and peoples, myself included, to transcends those limitations, and thereby, queering (what is commonly thought of as) reality.
My visual arts are mostly in the medium of printmaking and illustrations. I create works where I manipulate human and animal bodies, making bricolage beings. Where I play with color and texture to make abstract shapes and patterns. Or where I take real experiences and surreal them in some way. I offer visual demonstrations of how I conceptualize another realm for myself, either by showing what I have seen or how it has altered my way of thinking.
My writings are usually of visual and literary critique. But I find my style to be less critical and more curious and responsive. When reviewing another's work, I often think about how they articulate the shadows of our worlds. I think about how their work might allow viewers to reconsider what they thought was real, secure, stable, or knowable. I think about how they let us know that we are surrounded by unknowns.
In my teaching, I encourage students to venture out of what they have considered “normal” when they are creating their own texts-- written or otherwise. These worlds that we engulf ourselves within teach us how we think; they imbue our ideas. It’s important to break down and articulate where these ideas are coming from and who are they serving. To do this, we may have to break out of preconceived notions of creation (or composition, if you prefer) and enter into something new. We must be rule-breakers. My pedagogical commitments extend from my belief that students (as a forever-one myself) understand conceptual categories when they (we) are exposed to a variety of creative and intellectual mediums; therefore, I practice and encourage multimodal and multi-disciplinary work.
My scholarship is rooted in Black studies, in particular Black feminism, although my study has divergent aims towards other fields–– such as queer studies and occult studies –– that acknowledge the possibility and actuality of obscure, phantasmal worlds that are outside of the dominant, colonial conception of material realities. I study the ways contemporary Black speculative and surreal arts repurpose, re-tell, re-explain centuries of the same anti-Black violence; they are at once exposing the limits of this violent cycle while also showing what is after or under this cycle through speculating an alternative existence. In other words, Black literary and visual arts expose these violent colonial material realities while moving towards practices of speculation, surrealism, and experimentation of alternative realities.
With my projects I ask:
How is this work or how can I be curious about alternative ways of being and knowing? And how can this alternative life be sustained in another world?
Because of these alternative ways of living, what is made possible/what can be found in this other world that is not possible/not found in our current reality?
I’m open to collaborating with other artists, writers, researchers, and collectives who feel like we have complementary goals and missions. After exploring my body of work throughout this site and you want to work together, hit me up!