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Digital Baptism: Documentation

We are digital graffiti artists. Which means the writing is on the wall because our faith stains our hands, which means we want to recode the world in a way that makes connection, love and affirmation commonsense. We are cyberquilters.  Which means we transform scraps into scripture, making what we have into what we need. We believe that the work of making relevant and transformative media in this day and age is a process of noticing and nurturing miracles, and during the Mobile Homecoming Process are immersing ourselves fully in the process of using and transforming media in order to be true to our vision while finding compelling and accessible ways to share ourselves with the world.

We know that a number of the components of our project are innovative, transformative and experimental.   We hope that the larger media community can learn from the models that we use on our journey.

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Link to Our Video Gallery

Our dream for Sojourner - An RV with Solar panels on top

Some highlights include:

On the Move: We are living in a mobile multi-media studio.  This means that the functions of living and of media-making inevitably blur, reminding us that representation is indeed one of the primary functions of our lives.   We hope to eventually start using sustainable energy sources(such as solar power) to run the studio.  Our journey will be an experiment in the possibility of sustainable engaged media on the go.

Grounded and Intimate: Though we are on the move, are also drawing on and sustaining long and deep relationships.  We are practicing a form of mobile media that is much more invested than the news truck and even more intimate than the documentary crew.  We will be using strategies that allow us to document our process without disrupting the intimacy of our family-in-the-making.  This will involve creating a setting where voice recorders and static cameras become part of the scene and share it with cooking utensils, garden tools, photos albums and divination beads.

Multi-Multi-Multi-Media: Because we are invested in a community education model, are documenting and transmitting our process every step of the way.  This means that in addition to creating a high-quality documentary film, we are also sending clips through twitter, allowing people to follow us through facebook and through ning social networking.  We are video and text blogging, creating shareable photo albums and writing real-time snail mail letters with collages.  We are creating artifact replicas, reissuing t-shirts and using fashion as a history lesson.   We hope to transform the meanings and the methods of media through a process of intentionally using a number of media forms at once, for various purposes.

Queering the Media: Influenced by the resourcefulness of quilters, hip-hop and cultural visionaries, we are using media resources and technologies sometimes for their designated purposes, and sometimes for purposes that deviate from the intentions of their creators.  Inspired by black feminist media makers like the Monica Dillon the cyber-abolitionist we will be stitching together effective and impactful media, recognizing that because our experiences and intentions are sometime so far outside of the mainstream and corporate marketing of technology our use of these technologies is queer.  Just like graffiti artists transformed household paint into a whole new form of mural expression, we will be transforming different technologies and we use them differently.  We hope that the visibility of our work will help other marginalized communities reclaim media tools for their own uses.

Radicalizing Access: Because we are accountable to communities that are often not represented within the media and who often don’t have access to the tools to make their own media, we intend for our example to show that anyone can tell their story.   In this sense our project is about media democracy, demonstrating that a number of levels of media can allow people to connect to the people they want to be connected with, and that everyone can participate in the conversation that media makes possible.

Intergenerational Media Skill-Exchange: Because our project is inter-generational through and through, we are excited about what it means to share the skills of media making with people, especially queer black people, of multiple generations.  We intend that as a natural part of our process of documenting our every move the participants, from the visionaries we are learning from and with, to the youngest folks who participate in the childcare at the community events will become more media literate.  We are also excited to gain access to skills that have been lost or forgotten in our generation, like quilting and gardening and drumming which are important forms of media and communication.

Sustainable Enterprise: Our model of multi-media social entrepreneurship calls us to draw from a number of communities, including the media community, the RV community, the green movement, and of course the queer communities of color that we are grounded in.   In addition to drawing financial and in-kind support from a number of communities that rarely work in collaboration, we are invested in the ethical placement of several resources, including articles, educational videos, re-issued t-shirts, black feminist pins and stickers that will support our work as well.