About the Book
As an avid consumer of American mainstream media, I am excited yet perplexed by the visual representation of black culture today. From highly stylized portraiture in print magazines, to heavily edited reality show confessionals, to the numerous hashtag name drops on Instagram selfies, the current media landscape has complicated the “authenticity” of what it means to be black in 2015. Sitcoms, Slow Jams & The White Cube maps multiple entry points into a complex conversation about identity formation, representation, as well as the value systems and shared language in and around black culture. This thesis offers a wide array of design responses: websites and posters based on the language of popular black music; videos highlighting fine art in prime-time sitcoms; identity-based exhibitions; and live performances that challenge institutional conventions. Using methods of abstraction, isolation and magnification, the work offers an editorial reframing of the explicit and implicit ways in which cultural vernacular switches to conform to these spheres.