Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2020-21

Crystal Z Campbell (Tulsa, OK)

Project Description

Hi, Hi, Hi, Highway is a performance driven project merging histories, fantasies, and policies of the automobile, the street, and the highway in relation to Americana and displacement. Hi, Hi, Hi, Highway will use sound, gesture, and abstraction to rupture monumentality and infrastructure, and prompt reclamations of space, time, and mobility.


Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and writer of African-American, Filipino, & Chinese descents. Campbell finds complexity in the public secret, or a fragment of information which is known by many, but perhaps undertold or unspoken. Recent works revisit questions of immortality and medical ethics with Henrietta Lacks' immortal cell line, ponder the role of a political monument and displacement in a shifting Swedish coastal landscape, and salvage a 35mm film from a demolished Black Civil Rights theater in Brooklyn as a relic of gentrification. Campbell engages with sonic, material, and archival traces of the witness through film/video, live performance, installation, sound, painting, and writing. Campbell holds a fellowship appointment at the Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center, to continue work on SLICK, an experimental feature film centering the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and its longstanding effects on the city of Tulsa.

Campbell exhibits and screens internationally: REDCAT (US), The Drawing Center (US), Nest (NL), ICA-Philadelphia (US), Artissima (IT), Studio Museum of Harlem (US), Project Row Houses (US), Visual Studies Workshop (US), and SculptureCenter (US), amongst others. Select honors and awards include: Skowhegan, Rijksakademie, Whitney ISP, Black Spatial Relics, Pollock-Krasner Award, MAP Fund, MacDowell, M-AAA, Black Spatial Relics, VCCA Alonzo Davis Fellowship, Flaherty Film Seminar Fellowship, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Campbell is a joint Tulsa Artist Fellow and Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center & David and Roberta Logie Fellow.

Image Descriptions: 1. (Video) SLICK is a performance film merging the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with sonic ruptures in space. This work directly informs the proposed Knockdown Center performance. 2. MODEL CITIZEN: HERE I STAND (Performance & Installation (with 5 Banners (2ft x 16-30 ft each) & 3 Videos) Model Citizen is part of a series of three videos and an installation of monumental banners. The videos include poetic reenactments of images of Paul Robeson, taken before his political work and polymathic legacy were silenced. This video riffs on surveillance, scientific racism, and the still life. 3. (Film Installation) With 35mm film salvaged from a now demolished black civil rights theater in Brooklyn, Go-Rilla Means War is a filmic relic of gentrification–––a parable weaving intersections of development, cultural preservation, and erasure.