Black Velvet Magic

Talking to one of the teachers here at RISD, I was referred to what is called ‘black velvet’ in magic, during which a bright light is projected to the eyes of the audience and obscures their view from the stage. At that moment someone dressed in black can come to the stage without being noticed. I thought that was an interesting analogy of how I could conceal and reveal things in my project as I am dealing alot with concepts of light/shadow what is hidden versus what is exposed.



“I am fully awake, sir”

However morbid, death is always on our minds in Haiti. Death looms over our ground and clouds our ideals of right and wrong, yet manifests itself in sounds and colors that only true intuition could harness. Those sounds and colors are raw, put them in black and white like Leah Gordon does in her photographs of Jacmel’s carnaval and you will see how much morbidness and sorrow, we Haitian people ‘must’ cover up with colors, just to keep the pride that we like to claim. Here however lies an issue for us, by covering up with these colorful masks, with so much effort… we are unable to refine those efforts. Rawness conflicts with layers of paint and paper-mache because the rawness of two centuries of sorrow and deprivation have not been dealt with.

To focus on the outcome of my efforts, there is a sound I listen to…. However morbid… it is a sound emanating from the structure of the World Trade center coming down. It has been recorded by artist Mark Bain. It is called “audification of the seismological data record” and it can be listened on this link posted from the BLDBLG website:

This sound along with a data responsive project in which “I am fully awake sir” is the sentence I caught the most vividly, are reminders to be fully awake and constantly remember the ground on which I stand, dance, drop down to and will eventually become a part of.