World Work I
World Work I takes place in the fantastical world in which all my work is based. It follows two groups of characters. The first is made up of two air-ship operators passing by a farm. The second group is collective of craftspeople harvesting greenery from their land.
World Work I, A Florist, and A Delivery are three animations done in quick succession in 2020. These works center around the task of reconciling exterior narrations of community, nation and ancestry with my interior experiences of those same subjects. These animations follow the purveyors of goods and services in a fantasy world, which is built around themes of Islam, Arabization, community, Blackness, and unreachable homelands. Choreographies of colorful masked beings working and socializing investigate the relationship between the individual and the collective. The characters sometimes center their ancestry or their ties to a plot of land in their movements. In other moments they allow market forces or songs stuck in heads to guide them. Through depicting these little workers cultivating land, maintaining homes, communicating with trade partners and extracting resources from their environments I ask viewers to question the structure of the world I am depicting. When and how does land there become "owned" there and when and how one becomes native? How does information travel and how are investor-state dispute settlement agreements reached? The Aesthetics and movement of the world are pulled from some real world sources. The regalia is inspired by hijabi fashionistas, Egungun masqueraders and 90s hip hop. The camera movement in the videos is reminiscent of side scroller video games and the movement of the characters at times is reminiscent of African and Afro-diasporic dance. The environments are mixes of imagined West African countrysides and The American South, famous ancient ‘worlds’ such as The Indian Ocean World, and trade routes such as The Silk Road. These elements coalesce into short looped videos and stills focused on video game-esq approaches to environment art and vibrant regalia.
Process/Materials: The animation was created in Blender, a free and open source 3D modeling, VFX and animation software. I built the environment, animation rigs and character models in Blender. I connected the models to the rigs and began animating. The Textures are a mix of hand painted digital paintings, procedural materials I created in Blender's node based shader editor and Photo-based PBR textures from Textures.com.