This seminar will explore the architecture of two short films, As Told to G/D Thyself (Umma Chroma Collective, 2019) and Black America Again (Young, 2016). Both films are expressions of the collaborative praxis that shapes contemporary black cinema. As filmmaker Elissa Blount Moorhead explains, these films are “building projects” because everything (the images and the people involved) come together before filming begins. This seminar will explore the unique architectures imagined in these films—specifically, the way proximity to blackness affects space and how filmmaking practices that emphasize care can imagine space and living otherwise.
Lauren’s areas of interest include Black popular culture (cinema, hip-hop, and digital culture), Black studies, visual culture, and architectural theory. Her research addresses the ways Black visual culture can challenge the epistemologies of anti-blackness; specifically, through the reorganization of space and time. Her work approaches Blackness as an aesthetic that can cohere—and disrupt—the visual. She has published writing on a wide variety of “art objects” including WorldStarHipHop.com, the videos from Jay-Z’s 4:44, Peter Eisenman’s architectural designs, and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Her current research project, A Black Joint: The Architecture of Blackness, uses architectural design to theorize about hip-hop’s “joints,” the points of articulation between the aesthetics of Blackness and visual culture. She is the co-Editor in Chief of liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies. Lauren regularly teaches class on hip-hop visual culture, cultural geography and spatial practice, and Black film movements.
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