Elizabeth Chin’s project AfroGoPro reimagines the portable digital camera GoPro through the lens of African aesthetics. Chin sees the GoPro as a technology that is “heavily raced and gendered in form, format, marketing and use.” Yet there’s nothing about a wearable camera or self-documentation that inherently says, “This oughta be for a guy!” or “This ought to be for white people!” Chin embeds the GoPro in layers of African cultural references. For one model, she “hand-stitched a cover for the GoPro then covered it in Swarovski crystals, mount[ed] it on a headband, and then us[ed] African Dutch Wax fabric … bought in Uganda to create the headwrap.” Another AfroGoPro is based on the design of a Maasai wedding necklace. Chin’s project challenges stereotypes about both Africa and personal technologies, in particular the cultural frames in which they are conceived or used.
– – see also: Laboratory of Speculative Ethnography (Art Center)