The Axis of Ego Series
An Anthropological Mixtape... The video series “The Axis of Ego” consists of 3 video works which engage in processes of montage/collage, sampling, remixing and found poetry that function as a visual treatise investigating masculinity and the destructive nature of racially, culturally, and gendered hierarchical organization. The result are works that interrogate internal and collectives narratives while exploring intersecting concepts of cultural humility, cultural speculation, cognitive dissonance and myth creation of inherited racial and social constructs. Woke while Dreaming On…. When I started making video my first influence was Dream On a TV show from the 90’s that focused on the exploits of Martin Tupper. A man-child who from infant to adult hood was raised in front of the TV. As a result his dreams, fantasies, and inner thoughts, are often translated in the form of black-and-white shots from old TV shows and movies. Much like Tupper, my way of understanding or processing the world was to take my experiences, emotions, and inner thoughts combined with all the mediated information I was consuming, indexing them all in my head and finally collapsing them into my own internal narratives.
There are some major topics that repeat through my work but some key ones are:
Toxic Masculinity: refers to the socially constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth.
Men without a positive, ritual way of developing and celebrating
masculinity, are emasculated and in crisis.
Respectability Politics: refers to attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their social values as being continuous and compatible with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream for its failure to accept difference.
A product of a Black Lutheran church family with somewhat radical ideas of social
justice we often felt the clash of social respectability and black respectability
And most importantly the Ego: white privilege can best be described as the systematically inherited perception of white normalcy among and within the majority of the Western populations. The sustainability of this practice is reliant on the cultural consistency of this belief through time. Any inconsistencies in this belief may lead to an uncomfortable level of disharmony. For some this discomfort can be so difficult that they will construct fallacies in order to alleviate the tension between their conflicting perceptions. This response is described as Cognitive Dissonance and is the focus of the video "Axis of Ego" which attempts to highlight a comparative link between Cognitive Dissonance in race relations and Sigmund Freud theory on the Ego Defense Mechanisms.
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