A Binary Gender System


Brian Pizzi
Mellisa Funk

Our topic involves how a binary gender system is presented to us, and how this shapes our societal concept of a default gender.

In the terms of sustainability and justice, acknowledging that as a culture we have adopted a  binary gender system in which males are portrayed as the most normal begins a process in which we can acknowledge individuals disenfranchised by that binary gender system.

The adaptation of our essay intends to present instances in which being given an assigned gender negatively impacts our emotional development as humans. In many ways, the disenfranchised become powerless toys for a society that does not care to acknowledge systematic abuses that might inconvenience day to day life.

The primary mode of representation we used were performative. We talked a lot about how to represent what we were feeling about our own involvement in sustaining a binary gender system, and we also talked about how to record the concepts of isolation, powerlessness, and compassion without taking advantage of anyone. We tried to incorporate instances of reflexivity to acknowledge our role as filmmakers, knowing that a lot of the rules we learn about gender are taught through media. Taking a more poetic license with the piece gave us leeway to experiment with video editing and conceptualizing the piece, which turned out quite different from our film adaptation.

The most challenging aspect of this collaboration was trying to pare down what we wanted to say, and figuring out how to say it with moving images. Finding a voice and learning how to use it effectively are two separate things.


Bitchin’ in the Kitchen


Ninette Rincon
Meskerem Johnson
Catherine Michaelis

Artist Statement for Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

We share our cultural foods, stories, and struggles with our community. As individuals we decolonize ourselves by finding our roots, and sharing what we learn with our community. We create a safe space so we can continue on our healing journeys to strengthen and better ourselves, and our communities.

Over several lunches we talked about our relationships to food, family, and culture, and then realized we could create our video in the same way – sharing food and talking about cultural connections to what we eat.

Our script adaptations radically changed from our original essays, as we created internal dialogues about food and our cultures. We became performative and reflexive in front of the camera, then we edited our footage and audio together. We played with vertical montage to reflect the ways in which we can’t always express how we feel. We altered opacity and film speed to show how time and space alter when we’re together with friends.

Most challenging was the time limit and the learning curve with Premiere Pro.