Mandy Messina (Oklahoma City, OK)
January 2018. Video. 4 minutes.

CHANNELS imagines various African Nations as former colonizers through the familiar format of TV. Installed on museum televisions, the video surfs channels showcasing snippets of fictional commercials and programs. Stitched into each short is a fabricated language Messina constructed that is both recognizable yet unidentifiable with any particular existing tongue.

CHANNELS prompts audiences to read between the television archetypes and imagine the exchange of power between the colonizers and the colonized. The piece hints at how an alternate history might present and asks viewers to think about the daily acts of passively flipping through media to understand history, place, and culture.

Messina filmed at various Greensboro locations with local community members using props, costumes, and backdrops sourced from the museum’s cultural surplus.

Featured Performers: Nava Levenson, Kerri Mubaraak, Adrian Quarles, Judia Holton, Emma Rice, Kayla Scott, Lesly Vasquez, Angela Williams Tripp 

Community Partners: Scrapmettle Theatre, Adam Carlin at GPSCaldcleugh Multicultural Center, Antoine Williams at Guilford College


Messina's constructed language, Qarra, for 'CHANNELS.'Messina’s constructed language, Qarra.