Playing With Pics

Our friends recently started a tumblr, where they post pics of daily life: buildings, people..stills, stills in motion, and shots of the night with dope effects.

You can check them here:
And hopefully, in the near future, you can see their work in a SEMAP exhibit/art event.

We are in Cali for the winter break (its 80 degrees every single day with no sign of rain), kicking it with the fam, studying, and getting ready for our March show in Pomona (more on that later). As we flipped through some of the pics, we found stills from How’s the Water? that were originally intended to be moving stills. A Space for black rage, reminded us of how much fun moving stills can be, so we decided to play with pics…enjoy:


3 thoughts on “Playing With Pics

  1. jtroane

    That is so DOPE! I am so excited. The makers of this gif have illustrated a method of analyzing photographic archives. When you make your own animations from stills, you can draw what were initially traces of life for people of color into coherent animations of identity formation and self-fashioning. This for me has the potential to augment the traditional archive, that so often projects traces of the misrepresentative and racist logic of archive makers into the historical narratives we continue to write in relation to our communities. Photographs are framed performances. Black and brown subjects have historically interacted with photography to produce themselves and to preserve themselves in visual narratives. And even the aspects of life that do not fit in the photographic frame are punctuated in their absences and silences.

  2. Valley of Smokes Post author

    Bici Bici Bici ended up just being still photographs. We have some film that we never ended up using..we might for the Pomona show..

    I wanted to use moving stills instead of video or stills, because neither really captures bike riding. Video hides the mechanical act and thus labor of actually riding a bike. many of the folks we photographed (I took notes for an entire week noting, age, gender, time, etc) did not ride for leisure. Stills, of course, “freeze” folks in both time and space….We managed to do a good job of capturing the relationship between bike rider and bike, but moving stills would have been very useful to tell a much larger narrative and do emphasize riding as a daily form of labor….

    We are really excited about A Space for Black Rage’s emphasis on traces, self-identity, and photography. Especially in bringing these insights to El Monte, a predominately Mexican and Asian neighborhood with a recent movement of African Americans into the community. It would be really interesting to try and understand their relationship to other ethnic groups, to the cities’ spaces, whether recreational or business-related, and how the medium of photograph can critically engage and illuminate these and other questions. We often forget that African Americans are sometimes diasporic in multiple ways: of the black atlantic as well as out of the US South.


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