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Mariann VanDevere: A Visualization of Paul Mooney’s “White Teeth”

I set out to create a visualization of comedian Paul Mooney’s joke “White Teeth.”  Initially, I found myself punctuating Mooney’s points with images of slavery and minstrelsy that acted in contradiction to the humorous tone of his work, which was not my intention.  I remedied this issue by following Gustavo Vazquez’s advice and inverted the gaze.  Thus, the creators of the word “nigger” remained the rightful butt of the joke.  I used moving images of white persons to fix the gaze juxtaposed by still images of laughing persons of color to further highlight the inversion.  The clips and images I selected were partly inspired by cultural events and as such offers an entry point into a deeper conversation about white supremacy and blackness.

Tools: Adobe Premiere, Online Audio/Video Converter, Google, YouTube, Instagram Video Downloader, Dropbox