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David Brame/Dusty Funk, February 5, 2021

During this residency David developed a mixed media show that further develops Dusty Funk and the lexicon of Afrofuturism. David says, “I maintain an active scholarly engagement. Dusty Funk is a series of mixed media Art Experiences that include 3 phases. Dusty Funk Psychedelic Afro Future Space Opera an evolving set of dynamic illustrations. Dusty Funk and the Wooly Whayl a tragic and surreal comic it follows the narrative path that a standard 5 act opera entails. That includes an overture, aria and three intermissions between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th acts. This makes for a total of 10 ‘chapters’. Dusty Funk is 400-460 pages and can be expanded into more volumes. Lastly Dusty Funk and The Cosmic Creation Comatorium a collection of installation and performance pieces.”

Biography: David Brame’s most recent scholarly creative accomplishments for 2019 and 2020 include Sanford Biggers: CODESWITCH in collaboration with Professor John Jennings, The Bronx Museum and produced by Yale University Press. I have also done scholarly work targeted towards black youth called, The Struggle, produced by Minnesota Press. I have a forthcoming graphic novel After the Rain, disseminated by ABRAMS/Megascope. It is a short story written by Nnedi Okafor and adapted by Professor John Jennings. My scholarly work explores issues of race and identity in the context of the American South, Black Gothica, mysticism and the African diaspora. As a Bunnell Arts Center resident, I will bring an informed diverse perspective regarding art, design and entrepreneurship. Brame’s experience, awareness of historical trends, familiarity with regional and national art and design spaces and current perspective within the field will be an asset to Bunnell’s program.
So what is Dusty Funk! It’s a thought project. It is an expression of millennial black angst. It’s a longing for recently old things. A search for an analog experience that is drastically different than the one we were promised. Both better and worse than expected. Dusty Funk is psychedelic escapism a surreal adventure. Dusty Funk is part memoir, a chronicling of my travels experiences. A way to enmesh myself into my art itself. I want—to be creator, audience and observer. Dusty Funk is a self portrait but in a larger way a reflection of the millennial black male experience both as them and being intimately connected with them. Caught between eras of wokeness and forced hyper masculinity. Bombarded with the duality of black male excellence and black male fetishistic myths add in an educational and justice system stymied by institutional racism creating a caustic mix of anger and creativity. Releasing that can come out as mental health crisis, crime, sex, art –music. A musically dynamic era where hip hop, r&b, neo soul, disco, jazz, intermingled with pop, nu metal, boy bands, and sing songy sad white boys. An era where interracial relationships were common but unspoken—still hushed when discussed Boomer parents so liberal so kind. “…i mean he’s nice, but he’s black” TheFunkaverse is where this all happens. It is where this surreal mind space exists and because we are enmeshed we see what he sees we experience what he experiences but we can only interact by looking away—or better yet is to change your perspective. Turn the grotesque into beauty.

With the Cosmodelic Radioverse I am expanding on the visual Dusty Funk lexicon. I’ve used many platforms to explore blackness in the future and space and within the realm of science fiction. But within that Funkaverse framework I can explore nearly any idea within that black millennial male experience. Dusty Funk is as much Afrofuturism as it is Afro Pop Surrealism an outsider art experience. Dusty Funk is about social connectivity and collaboration. Since it’s inception my ideas have always been to create a dynamic creative space for outsiders, anti-intellectuals, and the socially unacceptable. Dusty Funk is Graffiti in the Louvre, Breakdancing at Julliard, Beatboxing at the Philharmonic, Sex Workers walking at fashion week, black trans beauty pageant winners. Dusty Funk is unapologetic blackness and otherness.

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