Janessa Daniels sits down (online) with artist and Professor Wanda Ewing to talk about her artwork, which broaches the intersecting subjects of race, sexuality, standards of beauty and identity.
About our guest contributor: Born under a red sun, Janessa Daniels is currently a third year graduate student in the American Studies department at Rutgers University – Newark. Her work focuses on the mechanical nature of Black women’s bodies by charting movement from protorobotic to cyborg. This work uses science fictional poetics and the trans-Atlantic origins of capital in addition to quare theory and Black literary and visual aesthetics to explore just how the Black woman’s body becomes mechanized and how that mechanization lends itself to constructions and conceptions of forced and willing kink. Whips, handcuffs, and rope as technological and visual tropes used against Black women’s bodies for pleasure or pain serve as guideposts for this work, providing categorization and historicization of of protorobotic, robotic, and/or cyborg bodies.