For the Birds Trapped in Airports


For the Birds Trapped in Airports is a collection of images, writing, and interviews that represent attempts of understanding the world around oneself.

In this work, the bird and the airport are used as thematic symbols to represent the self-created restrictions that come with carrying out one's aspirations: fear, excuses, doubts, inexperience, and so on. 


For the Birds Trapped in Airports contains a variety of works and topics. Some of the work exists as a series of "first try" experiences: my first attempts at writing poetry, my first time making a nude portrait, and driving across the country to re-kiss my first kiss. Other included works are products inspired by working through various struggles with confidence and following intuition: representations of notable traits and examples of masculinity, ideas of mortality, and photographs of birds. Much of the work is made possible through honest conversations with others about the ways in which they experience life, perceive success, and pursue contentment within American society.


Before the project is fully released as an artist book, segments have been released in small iterations:

1. I'M HERE [a two-part tribute to my mother]:

{released January 1, 2014}

In an edition of 1,000, these 22.75"x33" posters include 'When I get Cancer' (a story about my mom's recovery) and a poster image of my mom listening to Kendrick Lamar's Bitch Don't Kill my Vibe about a month after her successful cancer surgery. [MORE INFO] [PURCHASE]


2. The Shape of Spilled Milk (a paperback / abbreviated version of the full body of work):

{released April 26 at a book reading event hosted by Cabin 207 in downtown Los Angeles.}

A screenprinted paperback edition of 250 books of writing, some photographs from the project, and an introduction by Tempestt Hazel. Available in 7 different colors. [MORE INFO] [PURCHASE]


For the Birds Trapped in Airports [still in progress]:

{anticipated release for 2016}

a hand-made collector's box in an edition of 50: a screenprinted clamshell case consisting of a hardcover book of writing under a hardcover book of photographs. 

25 books will be available for purchase and the other 25 will be donated to public access libraries.


You can read excerpts from the project here.  


This project is partially supported by a Cultural Outreach Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.