Portfolio work from the beginning of the year, done for a personal essay called Color Theory: Racial Connotations in the Visual Simplifications of Good and Evil.

The essay focuses on binary thinking and how this system of thought both reveals and instills problematic ideas in western culture, such as the trope of good and evil, which the pale figure is used as a visual emblem of Good while the dark figure is used as an emblem of Evil. This isn’t always portrayed in skin color, but the baseline connotations it carries affects people of color, affects my friends, one of whom grew up feeling ugly because of it: that the hue of a skin was correlated to an idea of good and evil, beautiful and ugly, segregated into categories deemed white and black.

This trope of good and evil, and all its visuals, has been used again and again by visual creatives because it’s established: That does not stop it from carrying a weight that falls upon a real group of people, people who are dark, and are made out visually in media to be villains. That does not stop it from forming subconscious racist connotations among a culture actively suffering from and attempting to combat racism. Good and Evil is not black and white, it is not simplicity or clarity: true good and evil is blurred, because the heart is not worn on surface, and the visualizations should reflect such.

Who did you think was the hero in that picture, the so-called good guy? And give me one reason that wasn’t based on color.

This is a call to artists and creatives everywhere: stop using this trope. We can communicate malice through others means: we don’t need to lay the weight on color.
‡     Alexxander Dovelin

Without Roses is finally up.

Without Roses was my undergraduate thesis which sought to deconstruct Western binary thought as it related to sex — and therein gender and sexuality. Binary thought - a system of thought which generalizes concepts into either/or categories - directly shapes the illusion of a binary sex, which then acts as a base for all other misconceptions following, including gender, its roles, and so-called masculine and feminine traits.

The paper is by no means a finished piece. Rather, it is the start of a conversation, meaning to promote general conversation surrounding subjects of equality. The page seeks to be as an interactive resource for people to submit thoughts, questions, answers, responses, essays, and links to other resources.

Without Roses is a space where I began my thoughts — and I hope you will share yours.

‡     Alexxander Dovelin

New book project coming out in May.

‡     Alexxander Dovelin

All the boys were pruned, clipped of their soft edges and blooms; the thorns were left, like teeth, and the leaves grew thick around the abrupt scars until they were forgotten. The girls, their leaves were stripped, torn off, relieving them of their aptitude, until they were thin elegant stems of furled petals. They were placed, in a vase, and watched to die in the slow way of beauty.

Graduated yesterday and saw everyone’s thesis show up. Crazy amount of talent and personal heroes walking through that school. I’ll definitely miss a lot of people, but a good amount are becoming locals. Portland will be the better for it.

I’m in the last stages of setting up the website for this project, hope you’ll enjoy it. More importantly it means I can work on other things. Sounds good.

‡     Alexxander Dovelin