Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
66 Fifth Ave
Parsons School of Design

(under)REPRESENT(ed) is an exhibition that features Parsons alumni of color whose creative practices explore the lived experience of race and aim to dismantle systems of racism.

Ayodamola Okunseinde, MFA Design and Technology ’15

Ayo is an artist and interactive designer living and working in New York. He studied Visual Arts and Philosophy at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey where he earned his B.A. His works range from painting and speculative design to physically interactive works, wearable technology and explorations of Afrofuturism. Okunseinde was the co-founder and creative director of Dissident Display Studios, an award-winning studio and art gallery based in Washington DC. As a collaborator with, amongst others, choreographer Maida Withers, Carmen Wong, and Yoko K., Okunseinde has created several interactive performance-based works and has performed in several countries including Mexico, Finland, and Croatia. Okunseinde art residency participation includes Finland’s Invitation to Helsinki, IDEO’s Fortnight, and Eyebeam’s Creative Residency. Ayodamola (Ayo) Okunseinde holds an MFA in Design and Technology from The New School, Parsons School of Design in New York where he is currently an adjunct faculty member.

Iyapo Films: Artifact 12, Iyapo Films: Artifact 111

Salome Asega, MFA Design and Technology ’14 and Ayodamola Okunseinde, MFA Design and Technology ’15
2016, 2017 Video (Runtime 1:27), Video (Runtime 3:18)

Iyapo Repository is a resource library which houses a collection of digital and physical artifacts created to affirm and project the future of people of African descent. The collection is developed through a series of participatory workshops where participants become archivists of a future history they envision. Participants sketch out and rapid prototype future artifacts and the repository then works to bring a select few of these artifacts to life so that they are completely technologically functioning objects that stay true to the participants’ original blueprints. Pulled from our Moving Image Division, the films on display contextualize such artifacts. Alongside the artifacts and films, Iyapo Repository exhibits manuscripts, rare media, and more.

The Argus Project

Raquel de Anda, MS Design and Urban Ecologies ’15; Ayodamola Okunseinde, MFA Design and Technology ’15; Gan Golan; Julien Terrell; Ronald Morrison, MS Design and Urban Ecologies ’15; Ligaiya Romero

Inspired by the Greek myth of Argus — the giant with 100 eyes who served as an eternal watchman for the gods — The Argus Project promotes a heroic narrative around citizen journalism and the courageous act of filming the police. A transmedia project that is part wearable device, part video installation, and part community organizing platform, The Argus Project jumps directly into the current debate over police accountability and state surveillance. The creators say, “Our goal is to challenge deep systemic mythologies that normalize police violence by creating a counter-myth that shifts power into the hands of communities. In doing so, we aim to help build a culture of accountability, increase community safety and reduce both state violence and the surveillance that it depends on.” The video traces the story of Argus, an awakening giant who serves as a metaphor for a citizen body opening its many eyes to the reality of police violence. Told through the eyes of Argus, the video reveals how policing has become an acute nexus of oppression, fusing unregulated state surveillance with the ability to commit physical violence with impunity. The result is a toxic combination aimed at the bodies of working-class people and people of color. In a time where we expect these challenges to increase, the story ultimately posits how we as citizens can concretely and effectively respond.

How would you describe your day to day job and/or artistic practice?

I work at a creative ad agency creating extensive campaigns for beauty, luxury and fashion brands. I work on branding, digital strategy, activations, moving image and act as an art director on photoshoots and film/documentary/tv sets.

Would you describe your career path as typical? Why or why not?

No. Everything happens for a reason. I am extremely happy with where I am and I cannot imagine it any other way. I had always been interested in art and design but did not seriously pursue it until Junior year in High school (2011). Around that same time, I decided that I wanted to go to Parsons. With little to no experience, I spent a lot of late nights trying to create a portfolio that was good enough to get me into Parsons. I applied, got accepted and began my freshman year as a CD major in 2012. The rest is history.

In what ways have your identities impacted your education and career paths?

My identity is everything to me. It is who I am. It effects the lens through which I view art and design. It effects my interactions with friends and strangers. It inspires the projects that I choose to pursue. It effects the audience that I choose to speak to through my work. It effects the way I move through life and the decisions that I make in each moment.

Posted in Artists.