black on both sides

chiann: black excellence

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breezy: black joy

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black on both sides is an apologetic exploration and celebration of blackness, much like the mos def album the project is named after.

i had the honor of sharing a conversation with chiann and breezy, fellow black students at umw. i adore these two women. i asked them to join me in a conversation on blackness and identity because i know they have dedicated their academic work to social justice and equity. and quite frankly, they deserve to be captured and idolized on this campus. so instead of waiting on the institution to meaningfully capture their role on this campus, i have, because i am able and willing.

process: i spent two hours storyboarding the idea of this project, four hours recording the podcast and taking the photos of each model, nine hours photo editing, and finally one hour editing the audio conversation into 5-10 minute podcasts.

bellow are some screenshots of my work in progress

Chris Milk

Senator Barack Obama

Senator Barak Obama

this piece of President Obama, as a senator, spoke to me because i think the dynamic of the cloud, his hand position, and the generally hopeful nature of this photo speaks so well to the expectations of his presidency.

This. Created by @gabalca.


i was struck by this piece because in looking over Milk’s work, i was struck by his virtual reality work, and this drawing piece speaks so well into how the downsides to media work and vr is that while it can provide wonder to some, to other it just keeps them from actually participating in reality itself.


i love this piece because i also believe practice is the most underrated component of excellence. this video also includes Terry Crews, A GREATLY UNDERRATED ACTOR, whose artistic skills (acting, drawing, athletics) and his dedication to the craft are not well known. the different camera angels also assist in the grandeur and dramatics of the commercial.

Wafaa Bilal

confederation center of the arts

it looks as if someone once lived here and was happy. and now, all that is left as evidence of their experience is a destroyed. this piece speaks to Bilal interest in international politics and its impact on the individual.

A Call

this is another piece that is political and in contrast to the piece confederation center of the arts, this has people and yet it still has the feeling of loss and emptiness that the confederation has. Bilal captures powerfully how even in presence of people, there can be emptiness and loneliness.


from an outsiders perspective, specifically from the US, there is willful ignorance to the names, countries, and cultural nuances that each country has.

Pipilotti Rist

Rist’s work seems to be referencing or imagining a memory or feeling. the colors, the hidden faces, and whimsical nature of her work feels so nostalgic and yet futuristic.

Adante for Strings

consider this still from a video. the positioning of the string instrument, the flowers, and the hidden person, on first glance seems so appropriate and fitting. nothing seems to jar me about the positionality of the images, which i assume has a lot to do with the color dynamics and shading by Rist.

Ever is Over All

upon first searching for Pipilotti, i saw the side by side reference of this video and a gif from Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Rist’s video, the hightened blue color, the woman’s garb, and the contrast of these elements with what we know about gendered expectations and patriarchy highten my experience of the video.

Blood Clip

this last video still i have chosen is because i wanted to highlight Rist’s presentation of gruesome, startling, and intense images, which none the less serve to highlight her feminist leaning background.

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik’s art is socially critical while also being conscious of the means of communication in popular culture.

Untitled - 2002.23 - 81981

Nam June Paik: Global Visionary

I have passed through this piece in the Smithsonian Museum in D.C. many times, and I have to say I have never stopped and taken it in. Not because I don’t like it or I find it boring, rather, it is because everyone seems to hover to the instillation that their intense attraction to the instillation (especially in contrast to the rest of the art in the building) makes me stay at a distance. Paik’s work seems to have intended to elicit that reaction from myself and the other. Both the awing at the lights and beauty of the work while also awing at other’s response to it.

Chinese Memory, 2005

This piece felt incredibly homey and warm to me. It reminds me of my youth, the duality of media and television with books and academia. Something else that stands out in this piece is the tv cabinet in relation to the art on the wall, it is the Chinese-centered exploration of traditional and modern.

Selected objects from the Nam June Paik

The individual pieces by themselves are quirky and interesting and as a whole, grand entity, it produces this clustered yet calm collective. The collection of different tv sets, small life-like objects, both in color and texture seem to present duality.

3d printing

prince symbol
prince symbol


prince and his guitar
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – FEBRUARY 04: Prince performs during the “Pepsi Halftime Show” at Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)