This piece came out of a new event series called “Are.na Walkthroughs” in which we ask people to take us through a particular channel, the blocks and ideas held within, and the ways those ideas may have evolved as the channel has grown and accumulated. Our first one was on February 12 over Zoom, and it featured Kai Jenrette, Taulant Sulko, Ritu Ghiya, and Emily Nabnian. Here, Kai shares some of what he talked about while walking us through his channel “nappytex.”
I’ve always been interested in the idea of worldbuilding—organizing objects in space and time to convey new context. My channel “nappytex” originally started as just that, a space for me to organize ideas, images, and motifs around Afrofuturism and rest, for eventual use in my practice. Originally named “Seneca” for the settlement of Black landowners in Manhattan that was burned down to build what is now Central Park, the channel grew from an interest in building a better world from the past, one that centers Blackness, love, and rest in opposition to capitalism. Through image collection, I create a visual “stolen” language from the curated knowledge of the past that speaks to a future existence outside of capitalism. With “nappytex,” I can freely explore the intersections of Blackness, rest, and technology in our past and present, creating a future that at times challenges the images themselves.