Black Orbits


Kameelah Janan Rasheed grapples with the poetics-pleasures-politics of knowledge production, information technologies, and belief formation.

Artist Bio

When Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s family experienced housing instability in 1998, they also lost elements of their material history. This loss led Rasheed to begin collecting found Black vernacular photographs through eBay, flea markets, and antique stores. She now has over 4,000 Black vernacular photographs depicting both the mundane and extraordinary lives of Black people from the early 1900s through the early 2000s. Her project, Black Orbits, brings these photographs together in a digital [an]archive that lives at the intersection of Black privacy and interiority, the archival impulse to collect and share, and contemporary controversies over the ownership of Black vernacular photographs.


Award Year
2022
Status

In Progress

A Black Muslim woman wearing large orange glasses and a black hijab.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Brooklyn, NY

Kameelah Janan Rasheed grapples with the poetics-pleasures-politics of knowledge production, information technologies, and belief formation. She is invested in Black storytelling technologies that are interdisciplinary, interspecies, and intergalactic. Engaging primarily with text, Rasheed works across different substrates and compositional fields. She works on the page, on walls, and in public space to create associative arrangements of letters, words, and shapes that invite an embodied and iterative reading process. She is the author of two artist books, An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations and No New Theories.