A selection of work from Fall 2022, my first semester of the MFA program in graphic design at Yale.
Even in our oldest most brutal sports there is room for tenderness, moments of softness and affection. The video Surrender shows a compilation of those moments set to the slowed down beats of a big band at Salón Los Angeles in Mexico City. The drunken tunes float over the athletes dancing around in their silk robes, look each other deeply in the eyes, and sway in a close and sweaty embrace.
In a time so focused on being the champion, on defeating the other it’s no wonder we burnout trying to succeed at all costs. We reach the end goals only to move on to the next, just like in boxing where you train to the max for the match and then if you win you pick your next opponent to tackle and continue the cycle. There is more to life than winning – as Audre Lorde suggests in her speech Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power* “For the erotic is not a question only of what we do; it is a question of how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing.” To live our most impassioned fully erotically charged lives, let’s give up fighting for success and surrender to intimacy.
Death is a long sleep is a short death
Death is a long sleep was a ritual performed as a part of the course Cybernetics of Desire led by instructor Melanie Hoff. In the ritual – the class of 6 design students met in the Dwight Chapel in New Haven, CT, where each person recorded themselves on their phones as the group sang Death is a Long Sleep by 18th century Austrian composer Joseph Hayden. The song is a round, which means that it’s sung repeatedly and overlapping with each other and could go on forever. Though the recordings were made in unison when they were uploaded to the website built for the ritual they were automatically set up to create a never ending round.
View site – For now the site only works on desktop.
First-Year MFA Exhibition: Blanket Statement
For the First-Year MFA Exhibition I shared two works from my ongoing series “Over the rainbow”: Surviving only better, 2021 – two eight foot banners quoting Larry Mitchell’s The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions and Dies Irae (Day of Wrath), 2021, a heavily studded pleather jacket. In this series, I explore the oversaturated use of the rainbow pride flag, which represents the broad spectrum of genders and sexualities, lumped together for no other reason than their deviation from the cis-hetero norm. Through the work, I look at color and decoration as a historical tool for othering, and flags and flagging as historical tools for unification.
“Over the Rainbow” envisions a speculative future party where the dykes, fags, and queers are feasting and cheering in a mess hall celebrating their revolutionary victory against the heteronormative status quo, surrounded by the adorned flags and banners that have united them in their conquest. These flags (or modes of flagging) that I make inspire the viewer to imagine what their vision of a post-revolutionary celebration would look like.
By co-opting the capitalist language of competition, fighting, success, and winning, “Over the Rainbow” is a satirical play on ideas of how value is garnered only through productivity. It celebrates the queer art of failure as written about by Jack Halberstam and José Esteban Muñoz, among others. With the slow and elaborate processes needed to make these decadent and decorative protest banners—such as attaching studs one by one—I definitely oppose the false sense of urgency that a capitalist lifestyle imposes, which only serves to uphold the status quo. Each flag or mode of flagging draws inspiration from or directly quotes LGBTQ+ writers, artists and activists from history. Through these reflections on and celebrations of queer history, “Over the rainbow” lauds the historical losers.