Proof of Flight

Proof of Flight, Digital Video, 4K monitor, 2022

Installation of tobacco leaves.

Virginia grown tobacco leaves.

Natural jute twine nailed to cedar plank used to string tobacco leaves.
Ania Szremski:

Unmanned cameras like the “slam cam” and “sky cam” were introduced to basketball courts in the 2000s for instant replays and call reviews, both for the benefit of spectators and for referees to make more precise rulings based on evidence that would escape the naked eye.

The “slam cam” is a motion camera installed behind the backboard and on the shot clock to capture action at the rim. These cameras allow us to glimpse players laying up the basketball, dunking, rebounding, blocking the ball, or striking the blackboard—all gestures that demonstrate particular feats of athleticism.

Proof of Flight is a durational video composed of footage from a “slam cam” mounted on a sculptural backboard marked with prints made from slapping hands stained with nicotine chew. The work ties the surveillance and commodification of the Black sporting body to the surveillance and commodification of the Black enslaved body enlisted in crop production. The repeated, looped striking gesture illustrates how a body that is transformed into both product and producer gradually gets worn out, used up, and discarded over time.