crashing burning n learning
Crashing Burning n Learning is an ever-evolving space for me to share the work behind the work. I always find inspiration observing the next person's process, growth when reflecting and critically analysing my own. Right now this is a thread that I will add to from time to time (hopefully more regularly). It has no strict shape or structure, and will be forever finding its feet. I intend to document a range of ideas, projects, and processes here. I hope you're able to find something interesting amongst all the clutter.
10 February 2023 | Between Us (Catalogue Essay)
'Between Us' was an exhibition curated by my friend, Ivy Mutuku, at Wyndham Art Gallery. Exploring notions of platonic love, she asked me to write a catalogue essay to be presented alongside the exhibition. "Free form... pretty much whatever you like", music to my ears. I so much love this kind of stream of consciousness writing, always presenting opportunities to indulge in the past and try to find words and structure for abstract thought. Excerpt below:
"My mother once told me that the ‘the more modest your sense of enough is, the greater your sense of abundance will be’. I believe this also stands true in the context of this essay — that a richness in love does not require a physical arrangement or an affair of sorts. That although the heart moves with a mind of its own, the most fruitful kind of relationship is the one that simply makes you feel like a child again. Not complicated by the cravings of the body nor blunted by the impulsivity of desire."
29 October 2022 | 'What Ties Us Apart'
Mid 2021 some friends and myself decided to come together and start a lil [collective/production company/franchise/etc]. We'd been collaborating for a number of years prior and formalising that relationship felt like it made a lot of sense.
'What Ties Us Apart' was our debut exhibition. It consisted of two short films, an interactive installation, and a contrapuntal poem. Despite our tight turnaround, I personally found a lot of enjoyment and play throughout this process - creating a short film without the stakes of it feeling like a 'short film, film' (cue exhibition context) was very freeing.
A short director's statement on my own version below:
‘What’s in a Name?’ is an experiment in genre, performance, and process. Working closely with actors Faro Musodza and Makwaya Masudi, we built the scenes and characters over a series of weekend workshops. I knew from the outset that I wanted to play with form – to reimagine the ‘mockumentary’ genre and to capture a sharp shift in tone within a single conversation.
Somewhere between reality TV and melodrama, the improvisational nature of this approach produces a film that is reactive, encouraging the audience to engage with the characters as if they were another body in the room.
See more about the film here.
10 October 2022 | Black Diasporas, Naarm
Remixed and reloaded, 2022. Black Diasporas is a digital mapping project that documents a range of experiences of people across the African Diaspora. Having worked on the first iteration in New York two years prior it was time to 'bring it home' - shoutout Kholi and Sandra (and everyone else for who this paragraph is too short to name).
Having a substantially larger pool of resources to work with this time, and having the blessing of local knowledge and a strong creative community here, our aim was to engage as many collaborators as would benefit the project. From the interviews, to the visual design, to the exhibition design and coordination, film production and more, this project felt like a grand celebration of sorts.
03 February 2022 | Untitled (Boon Wurrung Country)
Stretching the creative legs. Think this one's gonna be a slow work in progress. It felt nice to be playing again - tinkering away until one lands on what feels like the ideal position to capture a 15 second image of the world.
There's always something liberating about finding oneself back in this space again. Able to try and fail, sit with the footage for a few weeks, abdandon it, come back and play around again, see something new.. everything else that exists in that cycle, before finally working up the excitement to do the whole exercise again.
And so I will. A date with the camera, pencilled into the diary.
14 February 2021 | 'Better' (music video)
A tri-continental collaboration. With Allysha in Australia, the label in the UK, and myself in America, we took on an unconventional approach when conceptualising the visuals for 'Better'. Allysha and I had long back and forth's about the song's message and what she hoped listeners would take away from it. In part due to budget, we got got creative with the output, deciding to explores message through visual metaphor, breaking it up into two sections; the global and the personal.
27 August 2020 | From Now 'til Then (essay)
I was commissioned to write a piece for Screenhub unpacking institutional racism within Australia, with a particular focus on film and media. Excerpt below.
"After the main tide of the day had rolled through, brown heads in worn cleaner’s uniforms and stealthy security guard jackets would begin to roam the halls. If I was staying late editing I would catch these faces, and in that moment when we passed each other in the corridors, we would become the majority.
I’d leave my undergrad with high enough grades to feel accomplished, and enough survivor’s guilt to push me deeper into reflection. In accepting my degree did I become part of the system? Aware of its blatancy, am I complicit in agreeing to these standards we seemingly accept?
This year I’ve spent looking back at home from the outside. Despite Los Angeles providing a precarious view, having time to reflect in a world so far out of my own has offered me new perspectives. Having spent so much time consuming American media in search of the answers to my own teen identity, it feels ironic being here now and having all the differences be ever so clear. "
Full piece available on the Screenhub website.
1 January 2019 | 'Losing Ground' Video Essay
Included as part of the 2018 Emerging Writers' Festival, this video essay unpacks some of my thoughts regarding black film, centering one of my favourite films of all time, Losing Ground.
Let's call this one a 'work in progress'... I've been meaning to go back and revise both the edit and the essay itself. Having read Collins' books since completing this piece ('Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?' and 'Notes from a Black Woman's Diary') it feels necessary to do a 2.0 that includes the new seeds of inspiration her work has sown in me.
1 January 2019 | Untitled (Boon Wurrung Country)
photos by Ivy Mutuku
We had two rolls of film, a half day in a studio, and a concept I'd been twiddling my thumbs over for about a year. Practicing My Serve was built around a prose I'd written and archived about the ~grey~ area. My never coming around to releasing it was probably due to a couple of things; the concept and footage was so loose that the piece was one of those never ending puzzles that could've been (and was) cut in 1000 different ways, a part of me was also inhibited by the content itself. I'd written what was essentially a letter to my younger self about feelings that had lingered through my adolescence... It was cathartic, yes, but too vulnerable for a piece I couldn't lock down an edit on. One day it may take on a more official form of life, but for now it shall exist as just the ingredients.
light black, dark white
off the top mochinated mix cappucino latte looking
baby in your brown skin you look liminal
you look lost
criminal looking, dark dark, black white, lips so full and precious
oo I can't wait to take a picture
my friends are gonna freak when they hear about your pain
vacant stare wearing, wearing down walls of self confidence
to fit the shade of your skin
for your colour changes with your crowd,
and your idea of home is a fractured concept
1 January 2017 | 'Through to You' (music video)
Second year film school and the chance to work with Sony. Feeling like a big dog at 19 (s/o Mark).
This was the first time I'd worked with a music label, and on a music video that wasn't just myself, one friend, and a janky camera. Despite having a budget that was bigger than anything I'd worked with at the time ($2,500AUD), this shoot was still very much one of those 'call in the favours and do as much ourselves as possible' kinda shoots. 'As much ourselves as possible' would mean starting the day unloading a gear truck up four flights of stairs with just myself and my co-producer. Despite the tight turnaround, we planned, we prepared, and we edited everything on schedule. The shoot was either a 14 or a 17 hr day (the number escapes me now), and the couple featured was a real couple irl - something I definitely learnt to appreciate on this shoot.