Created from a handmade collage (paper, glue, scissors), then photographed and adjusted accordingly in photoshop, then from there, transformed into multiple videos using a group of images of the same collage to reach very different ends.
3 Questions for Ami
What was your process for creating this work?
Believe it or not, it actually started off with the y2k 8th grader collage essentials—paper, glue, scissors, and unbridled angst. I used a handful of magazines for this—Vogue, The Smithsonian, and Art in America included—and even played with the cutouts against aluminum foil. Once I had everything compiled, collaged, and cemented into place, I took it to the studio (my living room with strange lighting concepts I created for aesthetic fun) and proceeded to photograph it in an array of positions, and under a number of color schemes. Next, I took all the photos, and began breaking each individual one down in photoshop, then experimenting with them in video form until the effects and possibilities finally began to speak for themselves.
What is the significance of the medium you chose for this work?
Since this is a mixed media piece, I feel safe in saying that since our world is a collage of varying materials, bound together in peculiar ways, it only makes sense that this piece follow suit! Even the light and shadow used in the photoshoot are indicative of our earth, and count as vital materials used in this project.
What is the significance of this work to you?
I’m an emo capitalism grinch who grew up adoring Vogue, The Smithsonian, and like institutions because I couldn’t see behind the artistry of it all to the destruction in my youth. Even now, I have a complicated relationship to such entities. That awe and fascination still exist, but are now deeply and irrevocably braided into the sinister realities of what their respective existences mean, and worse yet, so many of the things they stand for. That’s why using this type of source material for in media res apocalyptic, dystopian, anti-capitalist art works for me. I get to experiment with material I’m familiar with and use it to extend into the metaphysical—and I still get to enjoy the beauty of the aesthetics involved throughout my chaotic process of artistic experimentation, manipulation, deconstruction, and sabotage of the materials to find the center.
Here, the center is that someday society will collapse, humans will go extinct, and even our planet will fully die. When the Earth does finally experience its ultimate demise, chances are that what will be left behind is all our material waste, industrial/technological artifacts, and the remnants of excessive wealth. Our history, even in endlessness, will be dictated and rooted in consumerism. Capitalism plans not only to outlive us, but also to define us. It’ll succeed in both pursuits unless we dismantle it now.
Ami (they/them) is an Indian-American, queer author, artist, designer, and boxer, and holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CalArts. They are the managing editor for Wrongdoing Magazine, as well as the co-founder of Gutslut Press. Their work has appeared in So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Inverted Syntax, Brave Voices, I Hope You’ll Still Love Me: A South Asian LGBTQIA+ Anthology, and other places. More is forthcoming in Fence and Peach Magazine.
They were the featured author for LUPERCALIApress’s VULCANALIA ‘21 anthology, runner-up in Baby Teeth’s 2022 Black-Out Contest, and winner of Really Serious Literature’s Beefy Chapbook Potato-Rito Remote Residency To-Go Contest XXL. Ami is the author several books, including Confessions of a Baby Vamp: Letters to John Milton (Gutslut Press ‘21) and Lipstick[less] Mania: A Ritual For No One (Bottlecap Press ‘22). Their first three full-lengths, Into Oblivion (Sweat-Drenched Press, 2022), x( )-id <3 (Trickhouse Press, 2022), and Experiments in Quietus (Really Serious Literature, 2023), among other shorter books, are forthcoming.