Writing

ECSTATIC AESTHETICS: 
Visionary Inclusivity in Coded Street Styles
forthcoming spring 2023

Ecstatic Aesthetics: Visionary Inclusivity in Coded Street Styles will be published as a chapter in the forthcoming book titled, THE URGENCY OF FASHION+.  

 

About the publication

"As an emerging production and cultural system inclusive fashion poses questions about how it has become rooted in, and developed within, society, as well as the extent to which it has been appropriated by the parties concerned. In this sector, each stage of the production process is based on a set of environmental and socially responsible criteria. As a result, it has led to the emergence of new, innovative working practices and a set of values which, until recently, were largely ignored by those in the fashion industry and, by association, those in the consumer goods production sector. This development of a more inclusive and responsible fashion industry, will inevitably lead to the emergence of new conceptual frameworks. Our aim herein is to present and illustrate new frameworks by questioning the codes that underlie the ones western orientated fashion industry, as well as addressing new practices and new ways of representation of inclusive fashion in more general terms."

Ecstatic Aesthetics: Visionary Inclusivity in Coded Street Styles 

[Abstract]

Style is a means of resistance, a pathway to possibility. Through the language of style, graffiti writers used analog avatars as vehicles for personal and cultural transformation. Since many early hip-hop fashion brands were started by graffiti writers, the magnetism of hip-hop fashion is linked to the revolutionary politics of the 1970s in New York City. There is a thread running through the visual language of hip-hop that is fiercely utopian. The movement of complex letters in wildstyle graffiti reflect the movement of a train, also movement as in activism. Style is a method to transmit coded knowledge. The visual hacking graffiti does on your eye is stimulating interconnected ways of seeing and being in the world. Once translated into everyday ecstatic fashion, it is a toolkit that can help us see beyond ourselves, toward a greater experience of participation in the social commons. 

 

KEYWORDS: hip-hop fashion, style activism, graffiti, utopia, sacred art, new media, ecstatic disobedience 

THE GOOD KIND OF CONFUSION

2018

THIS PIECE WAS PUBLISHED ON DJERASSI RESIDENT ARTIST PROGRAM'S WEBSITE DOCUMENTING ALUMNI STORIES OF PROCESS.

she enters my occiput, bleeds new beings, drips down my spine to remind me everything will be okay, everything is as it should be, and i am still alive, living outside my skin, but still alive. dancing in my flesh, borrowing my flesh, she stops time long enough for me to see as in dream. the sky is wet with void, dripping with blackness, primordial blackness, a familiar emptiness.

joy abounds, the joy of death, a familiar death. my breath slows to stillness, i'm falling. i watch her dancing in my flesh, the dance of the living. my borrowed breath, now a memory. yes, i know her touch well, cupping my skull in her hands, as i die again. my body shakes, sweats, drips and slips through the forest as a breeze, breathed in.

djerassi_0.jpg

i am again exhaled into being, in an elevator unhinged, unaffixed, in my father's midst, we're falling. he asks, what are you afraid of? i don't have the breath to answer. shit, i’m falling again, and this time it comes quickly, crystals drifting in ether, but there’s no bottom. no landing, only crossings. even he had to go. a black crystal pyramid slowly falling, rotating, remembering, tearing at the seams. he knew his time to die was coming.

 

in a day’s time we’ll gather at midnight, call in the ancestors. protector of souls, we willfully drink from your stream, this fiery blessed stream, changing in we, yes we, what it means to make meaning, to get lost in the act of seeing, of being and becoming. the sky is better wet with void, ineffable, inexplicable joy. my head still rests, cupped in her hands of love, on these sands of mars. this glowing dirt is evidence of enlightened worms burrowing in my mind, sowing seeds of confusion, the good kind of confusion. to be unborn free. 

the_good_kind.jpg

the midnight wind signals the beginning of the ceremony. east meets west meets north meets south, with the sun above us, moon behind us, stars within us, the tides are still shifting toward the infinite. our breath is so long it’s seems time finally waited, folded into itself, and leveraged the remaining complexity between us. 

 

not skipping a beat, the space station temple steps are ablaze, let’s begin this, let’s enter. assembled and ascending the temple steps, breathing this breeze from the east as our feet meet shimmering deep green moss between our toes. yes, the time is now, can you smell the cedar? cedar most sacred. waiting and weightless, i’ll admit, i’m afraid of what we'll find.

 

the ivy on the face of the building animates, leads us down this unlit corridor. now there’s only silence, blackness, as silence. the passageway opens, empties, we find a gathering of medicine healers in an unexalted state. adorned in cowry shell crowns, feathers and weathered beads, lavender breathed in, there are leaves somehow beneath our feet. i feel faint, but not dizzy. what is this language these beings speak? 

djerassi_2.jpg

tier upon tier of beings shedding their forms, ecstatic, floating above their bodies, as orbs, as ether, sipping this last bit of elixir, this vibration, more silence, more stillness. soon she’ll be here, the space is set. it’s time for the elders to collect in the center of the temple and beat the drum.

 

we break bread in the dark. walking in circles, clapping in layers, becoming nature in tandem, spirits housed in saints, bodies adjacent. the elders can hear your thoughts. the ancestors are near, just void of center, left of black, and deeper than space itself. blackness in the absence of absence. 

 

it's predawn. no birds, just frogs, fog, and bodies in transit, it feels like we’ve landed, they’ve landed, we’re together on this island, both assembled and ascendant, everything is energy—a truism of entropy—this is the legacy of sentience, embodied, in blackness, in diasporic afro-praxis, in song, with love. 

EXILE

2016

 

Produced by Omen Phaze

Lyrics & vocals By Mx. Oops

Mixing by Matt Phoenix

Developed as part of an Integrated media Arts Thesis Project at Hunter College [City University of new York]

the medicine healers emerge from their meditative hibernation /after the war to end all wars was through with the mind-state of / nation-state, and now only a swath of medicine healers reveal themselves from the depths of earth / receive breath from the: dirt, soil, and crystal veins in the earth’s crust we trust / today is the day that so many volcanoes erupt / and our unseen alien visitors descend to earth with the quiet elegance of falling dust

 

particles, articles, artifacts

 

as we tread through the ash-covered ruins of human lust / in the dollar we trusted, until it collapsed / without a food system intact, humanity relapsed into a, well, you remember / that endless december of nuclear wintery blistering aftermath / before our suspended animation / before our collaboration with the communities of light and the construction of this space station temple / let’s enter and behold / the rebuilding committee is in session with fresh transmissions from Gaia herself

 

she’s been rebuilding her inner wealth and is ready to more fully take us into her vibrational essence with lessons to help us better partner with planets / 

no matter where we end up, in the galaxy / when the next phase of this program, is complete / when we’ve been relocated to our new home / circumambulating a new star / new space weather altogether / new flora and fauna, I ponder, I wonder / will humanity be humanity with new neighboring planets influencing our sanity? / only time will tell 

___

 

the medicine healers emerge from their meditative hibernation /after the war to end all wars was through with the mind-state of / nation-state, and now only a swath of medicine healers reveal themselves from the depths of earth / receive breath from the: dirt, soil, and crystal veins in the earth’s crust we trust / today is the day that so many volcanoes erupt / and our unseen alien visitors descend to earth with the quiet elegance of falling dust

 

particles, articles, artifacts

 

as we tread through the ash-covered ruins of human lust / in the dollar we trusted, until it collapsed / without a food system intact, humanity relapsed 

into a, well, you remember / that endless december of nuclear wintery blistering aftermath / before our suspended animation / before our collaboration with the communities of light and the construction of this space station temple / let’s enter and behold / the rebuilding committee is in session with fresh transmissions from Gaia herself