Sondra Perry

I work in video, computer-based media, and performances that explore slippages of identity that define subjective experience in the digital world. Investigating themes of power and agency, especially as they are determined by race and gender identities, I embrace and integrate new digital platforms for installation and context-based artworks, putting these questions of identity in conversation with
contemporary articulations and embodiments of desire, materiality, labor, and history. I hope these works are both highly political and acutely familiar with colloquial experiences of digital interfaces.
Using materials and preexisting media in the vehicles of performance and video production creates a space for the uncanny nature of the thing or object. The ability to strip, expand, or abstract content of its form/identity, material, geological, digital, cultural, and physical is power. Playing with the potential of familiarity undermines the illusionistic transparency of popular media to expose the fissures in its
meaning and politicize its ubiquitous voice.
Representation within social, political, or cultural spaces that aren’t maintained to care for how you are rendered will always perpetuate marginalization. Working with video production and the desktop, I make an effort to interrogate visualization through the workspaces that prescribe values of productivity and narrative. It’s imperative to unravel how systems of representation service power and oppression in
order to use the limitless flexibility inherent in them to image precisely and responsibly.
I often times begin with my interest in how ritual, the historical, and fiction create a slickness that mirrors the sly way in which video production techniques spin fiction into realism, into non-space where possibility is inherent. I suppose I’m trying to acknowledge the craftiness of narrative and video production while claiming fictive space as more than escapist but as actionable fugitivity that can have unclockable revolutionary potential.
I’m interested in how blackness is a technology, changing and adapting, through the constant
surveillance and oppression of black folks across the diaspora since the 1600s. Unmediated seeing isn’t a thing. But what I try to offer through the work is a seeing that is DIY and constructible. In my video installation
Lineage for a Multiple Monitor Workstation
and performance Young Women Sitting and
Standing and Talking and Stuff (No, No, No),
the performers use specific proprietary cultural language while masked in balaclavas that approximate chroma key green or don hacked vehicle backup monitors attached to safety glasses, the amorphic precision in their actions and dress is a refusal to be consumed without question. Introducing the absurd, the stupid, or annoyance into the viewing space of a highly
mediated subject is a way to visualize those layers.