Pur·suit represents a missing data set (1). Artist and researcher, Mimi Onuoha describes our living through a time of “unprecedented data collection,” and yet even with the over-collection of data there continue to be gaps of information – what she calls “blank spots in the data ecosystem... spaces that are curiously devoid of data.” Pur·suit is in the interest of queer and trans people, of people of color, and of groups that continue to be marginalized. In its physical form, it’s a 54 card deck with portraits of queer womxn, trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people. It helps complete an image of the world that we live in.
In its digital form, depictions of over 100 people will comprise the first stage of a digital archive created to expand and preserve narratives of queerness and its many evolving identities. Offering a glimpse into complex worlds through photographs, letters, poems, and audio clips the archive will create space for folks to share themselves however they choose.
Your funds and support will be used to design and print the card decks as well as expand the archive as we continue to honor, name, and uplift a dynamic, queer community for posterity.
Footnote 1. http://mimionuoha.com/thoughts/2015/11/15/missing-datasets
I stumbled upon Catherine Opie’s Dyke Deck at the New York Public Library while doing research for my MFA thesis, All the black language. Dyke Deck is a set of poker cards that playfully looks into the lives and performances of 90s lesbians. After ordering a deck, I combed through each card curious as to why I had never seen or been taught about this work. It was made between 1990 and 1995 in the Bay Area through an open call casting. The final deck was created through a partnership between Opie and MoCA Los Angeles. By 2017, the deck felt both new and old, still radical and iconic. I knew it would find a place in my own work as I wanted to add to the ethos of queer cultures. With Opie’s blessing, I embarked on reimagining the Dyke Deck into a 2018 East Coast experience.
Pur·suit is a celebration of queer communities. I want to reflect my queer community, comprised mostly of women of color, and how our experiences are (or most often are not) represented. I continue to think about how our communities are named and by whom. In Brooklyn, I’m fortunate to see queer families, partnerships, and friendships of all kinds on a daily basis. I’m also reminded that our community is an oasis. It is my hope that Pur·suit can be that for all who use these cards; that it will serve as a reminder of queer faces and experiences, play, love, and a testimony that we are here.
How Can I Help?
Until this point, Pur·suit has been a self-funded project with community support. There are a few ways to get involved. Pledge a contribution to one of our incredible perks! If you can’t make a financial contribution, please spread the word. Consider sharing this campaign with 5-10 friends who might want a deck or might want to be involved.
Follow me on Instagram @naimagreen for updates on the project.
New Perks - February 2019
Tincture in My Bag, Swag: $10 Special Edition Fermentation and Formation Newsletter: dedicated to caring for the selves so we can better care for each other. meditations on colors, chakras, herbs, sacred geometry and numbers in the hopes of (re)finding our harmony with the natural world.
Love Joy: $10 Enjoy a ticket to Bklyn Boihood's x Rimarkable's Joy a Day Party on May 26, 2019.
Sacred Cut: $35 decadent bath salts handmade by Jenna Wortham. Sacred Cut is a fledgling and experimental line of communal care products, tailored to the seasons and elements, created by hand in Brooklyn, NYC from ingredients that are wildcrafted and collected from the source around the country and globe.
Pink Lotion: $18 The Hair Aisle is a coloring zine by Kiesh that serves as a preface to a project that highlights the trials of women of color who were raised by white women. This zine is a tribute to the process of figuring out hair and to every brown girl that only has a section of the hair aisle, and features products like Blue Magic, Pink Lotion, JAM, and others.
Love Notes: $20 A set of four 4 x 6-inch postcards featuring Pur·suit photographs
Venus Calling: $40 Moon Mother Apothecary Heartbreak Elixir and Rose Tea
To address: heartache, heartbreak, breakups, moving through difficult transitions/relationships, for depression, grief, trauma, and pain or weakness of the heart
Portrait Party LA: $75 Enjoy a 15-minute portrait session with Naima for the Pur·suit Archive. You must come styled with hair and make-up ready. One hi-res jpg and polaroid provided.
The Lovers LA: $150 Couples Portrait Session. A 30-minute portrait session with Naima for the Pur·suit Archive. You must come styled with hair and make-up ready. Two hi-res jpgs and one polaroid provided.
Details on Some Rewards:
Ante Up: $50 All the black language, 2nd ed. (signed), 10 copies
All the black language is Naima's first widely distributed book, comprised of over 50 photographs made between 2017 and 2018 and 5 essays written in 2018. The first edition of 50 sold out in a few days and there are less than 15 copies left in the second edition of 125.
Slow Play: $50 1:1 Herbal Consultation with Arvolyn Hill
Arvolyn is an Herbalist and Educator currently based in Harlem, NY. She was raised in Kent, Connecticut on the border of the Housatonic River and the Schaghticoke reservation. Arvolyn is passionate about her work as Coordinator of Family Programs at the Children's Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. She has an online shop where she sells handmade items including Dreamcatchers, pressed Flower Phone Cases and flower essences. Visit her website Gold Feather.
Flower Essences are herbal infusions made from the flowering part of the plant. For centuries flower essences have been used around the world to address emotional and mental aspects of wellness. Each flower has a different vibrational energy that can be used to heal what may be lacking or depleted in our lives.
For this perk, Arvolyn will use Bach's 38 flower remedies and Tropical Flower essences made in Costa Rica to put together a flower essence blend custom to your needs.
No Limit: $50 2 tickets to Blind Seed’s next event on February 7, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Blind Seed is a creative organization presenting intimate experiences designed to cultivate clarity and build positive momentum through self-care, meditative movement, and collective socially conscious education. Blind Seed nurtures growth for city-dwellers with an interest in clean living and self-expansion. We believe that each of us is a blind seed, unaware of our own capacity for beauty and greatness- yet when we're driven, lifted, and nurtured, we are all able to grow and exceed even our own expectations.
For this perk, you will receive two tickets to a Brooklyn-based Blind Seed urban retreat workshop.
Family Pot: $100 Moon Mother Apothecary Medicine Kit
Moon Mother Apothecary was created by AfroDominican spiritual herbalist, community organizer, and moon mother, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina. Through her practice and ongoing study, Moon Mother creates hand-made, heart-centered, moon-powered herbal products in the traditional wisdom of her ancestors and builds spaces for the exchange of sacred plant knowledge.
For this perk, you will receive a seasonal kit of Moon Mother Apothecary herbal medicines (which may include elixirs, tinctures, tea blends/herbal baths, and/or salves).
Tender Hearts: $500 sunset drinks for 5 at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is an internationally acclaimed greenroof and commercially operated vegetable farm atop a three-story warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.
Annie Novak is founder and director of Growing Chefs, field-to-fork food education program; the Manager of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden, and co-founder and farmer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in partnership with Goode Green and Broadway Stages. She is the author of The Rooftop Growing Guide: How to Transform Your Roof into a Garden or Farm, published by Ten Speed Press.
Join Naima and Annie for sunset drinks overlooking the East River. We'll chat Pur·suit, rooftop farming, and snack on fresh produce. All 5 guests will receive a copy of The Rooftop Growing Guide, which Naima and Annie worked on together. A date will be mutually agreed upon either in June or September.
Naima Green, Artist
Naima Green is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator. Her work emerges as a way to shift dynamics about who is worthy of having a portrait made and to recontextualize the way black and queer experiences are pictured, understood, and therefore lived. Her conceptual inquiries position as primary the body and language as a way of indexing, collecting, and archiving forms of subjectivity. She thinks of the body as a site of experimentation, one that is fluid, and where notions of access and transformation can be examined.
Naima holds an MFA in Photography from ICP–Bard, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University. She presented two solo exhibitions in 2018 – All the black language and A Collective Utterance. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at MASS MoCA (2018), International Center of Photography (2018), Houston Center for Photography (2017), Bronx Museum (2017), BRIC (2015 and 2016), Arsenal Gallery (2018 & 2015) and Macy Gallery (2013 & 2014). Naima has been an artist-in-residence at the Bronx Museum (2016), Vermont Studio Center (2015), and recipient of the Myers Art Prize at Columbia University (2013). Her work has been published in Arts.Black, The Atlantic, California Sunday, Cultured, The Fader, The Nation, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Spot Magazine, and SPOOK, amongst others.
Toby Kaufmann, Creative Director
Toby Kaufmann is an award-winning Visuals Director. Most recently she was the Executive Photography Director of Refinery29 where she worked to define the brand's photographic aesthetic. She works out of her Brooklyn studio, where she holds critiques, photography talks, and community events.
Rin Kim, Lead Card Designer
Rin is a graphic designer and visual curator. They explore an ongoing interruption that re-arranges assumptions of subjectivity and identity. Rin's personal practice is primarily focused on building queer/trans mythologies and the dematerialization of the body. Their clients and collaborators include Nylon, Chroma, Chino Amobi amongst others.
Caroline Washington, Graphic Design Consultant
Caroline is a visual designer based in Brooklyn. She’s an introspective idealist at heart who’s devoted to expanding cultural production through progressive design. She has collaborated with Saint Heron, Niijournal, and 2x4, and currently works at the Brooklyn Museum.
Kayla Jones, Prototype Designer
Kayla Jones is a designer, art director, and activist. Her work explores the intersections of design as art, art as activism, and activism as cultural design. As a queer, black woman working almost exclusively with marginalized communities, organizations, and initiatives, her work often centers racial justice, women’s empowerment, and queer identity. After almost a decade of experience in branding and creative strategy, she continues to apply the concept of relevant differentiation—fulfilling a demographic’s specific needs by listening and responding in a meaningful way—to design for social (rather than commercial) gain, starting conversations and supporting movements with aesthetic solutions for far-reaching impact.
Jones is a Bay Area native and Academy of Art alumnus currently living and working in San Francisco. As a 2017-2018 YBCA Public Imagination Fellow, she designed a multi-sensory, experiential healing space for marginalized bodies so that may expand their capacity to imagine new futures. Her current collaborators include The Women’s March, ACRONYM, She the People, and the city of San Francisco.
Jessie Levandov, Set Designer & Filmmaker
Jessie Levandov is an award-winning Filmmaker, Visual Artist, Designer and Media Educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mala Forever, a Feminist Creative Studio.
As an artist and educator, Jessie is committed to using media and storytelling as a tool for healing, transformation, and social justice. Her films and work have shown in film festivals, universities, museums, schools, and community centers nationally and internationally, and have been featured on online platforms like Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, Bitch Media, NBC News, Gay City News, Audostraddle and THEM. She has directed programs, taught, and facilitated workshops in NYC Public Schools, homeless shelters, community organizations, colleges, and universities.
Jessie holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts and was the longtime Director of Youth Documentary Workshop at the Educational Video Center in New York City.
Megan Williams, Archivist
Megan Renee Williams is the outreach and reference librarian in the Photographs and Prints Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Her interests include preserving and providing access to a visual history of black culture, teaching radical histories through images, contemporary art, and motorcycles.
Freddie Rankin II, Shanique Strodder, Arvolyn Hill, and Kalila Hoggard, Studio Assistants
Special Thanks To: Ariana Faye Allensworth, Tara Aura, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, Sara Elise, Arvolyn Hill, Linda Latortue, Nedjra Manning, Angel Nafis, Annie Novak, Cat Novak, Kaitlin Tyrrill, Marcel Rosa-Salas, Ayana Wilson, and Jenna Wortham
Risks and challenges
I’ve tried to minimize risks by doing as much work as possible prior to the campaign launch. Pur·suit wouldn’t have gotten this far without community support and now we need funding to pay folks who contributed their time and skills up front and also print the card decks to bring the project to life.
I will be sure to update all campaign supporters if there are any unforeseen risks or challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)