People’s Pavilion Festival: Test Pattern 003

The films shown at this iteration of Test Pattern explored manifestations of Blackness through the lens of Artist Arthur Jafa's theory of Black visual intonation.

Jafa’s practice examines Blackness in relation to site, movement, form, and sound. Jafa, whose oeuvre includes the films Dreams are Colder than Death and Apex, coined the term Black Visual Intonation: a filmmaking technique where the frame rates of the photos and videos on screen are manipulated to highlight the nuances and subtleties of Black experiences. Jafa’s amorphous concept served as the launching point for our screening and subsequent panel discussion.


Covco (Programmer / Musician)
Ethel-Ruth Tawe (Artist / Writer)
Makella Ama (Archivist / Filmmaker)
In this particular moment of cultural hyper-production, in which we are witnessing the collapse of contextual meaning and the flattening of aesthetics rooted in subversive politics into one-dimensional constructions, the creation of avenues to both protect and make accessible the obfuscated and in many cases purposefully erased histories of people of African descent is pertinent.

Test Pattern serves as a makeshift transmission point for just that. It is an iterative arts event exploring Black visual cultures. The series of events borrows its name from an early iteration of Haitian American artist Jean Micheal Basquiat's noise band Gray. Much like noise music each iteration of Test Pattern aims to harness a particular essence / mood / vibe in a haphazard manner.

Test Pattern aims to exhibit what I would label as 'honest' depictions of Blackness, depictions which are acutely aware of their universality, but also the specificity of the stories they tell and the biases of their tellers. ‘Honesty’ is defined as something ‘free from fraud or trickery, humble, plain’ a definition which understates the complexity of honesty, its preternatural essence, its existence in a constant state of flux and its ability to serve as a conduit for gnosis.


People Carry Place (Dir. Issi Nanabeyin)

Deconstruction of Western Influence (Dir. Guilio Verane)

I Need to Talk to God (Dir. Elisha Tawe)

Vagina (Dir. Celine Pierron)

Curated by: Elisha Tawe
Supported by: Beyond The Box CIC
Photography by: Džiuginta Mažulytė