“black” after arriving in the U.S.A. This kinda post-colonial moment has been toyed with and so people have had to come up with alternatives in language to arrive to similar places. “Colocho” means someone is curly haired, but often becomes one of those identifiers to replace “of African descent” or “black”. A black Jesus that hangs in a living room of a home signals to guests of the owners lineage instead of having to say it. I’ve found that through the objects in my home I’ve learned so much about the civil war. It’s very painful for my parents to tell me anything about that time period and so at a certain point I decided to look for things in the house like home movies or photo albums or other belongings to help me fill in the gaps. Objects as knowledge production. Objects as vessels for familial trauma and history. Objects as a disruption of state-sponsored erasure and revisions of history. CVM: Some of the pieces you exhibit use source material drawn from the internet. There’s a pernicious tendency to see social media, the internet, video games and digital culture more broadly as socially corrosive or alienating.
Your works vocally disagree and the internet and those technologies are re-appropriated. You use Google Street View to revisit, document and display the environments you grew up in (Slipwood Center), you approach Facebook as an alternative community that reunites vecinos separated the Civil War, and combine it with a photograph of a quinceañera banquet in Queens and with J-Pop lyrics and music in reference to a game you turned to find solace in your youth (Sanctuary [After Utada]). Even our prior conversations about these themes and concerns began on Tumblr and have continued on that platform over many years now. What is the meaning or value for you, of the internet and digital culture as it relates to your art work and to the diaspora more generally? OD: I think it goes back to rituals. I always find myself going on Youtube when I miss home late at night. I find myself looking at videos uploaded by often white travelers actually [laughs] who go vacation there. I experience spaces through that or just watch really old music videos from the 80’s, etc
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