Black Space, Freedom, Urban Forms, and Radical Imagination


11 June 2020

11 June 2020

Visual artist Binta Oxossi Ayofemi creates urban forms inspired by black abstraction through sound, movement, and space. Her first building as artwork, COMMONS, opens in Oakland in 2020, in collaboration with renowned architect Bonnie Bridges of Studio BBA. Studio BBA transforms buildings with historic fragments into contemporary buildings.

COMMONS began with Oxossi’s strategic cuts into the building as performance, next shaped as an opening or flow between form and function in dialogue with Studio BBA. The space transforms a formerly vacant music building in downtown Oakland, into a portal for gathering, sound, and sustenance. Inspired by both Black Panthers and Black Shakers, COMMONS infuses an Afrofuturist narrative with materials gathered, honed, and milled from Oakland.

Recorded in January at Untitled Art San Francisco 2020, Oxossi Ayofemi and Bonnie Bridges discussed the making of COMMONS, explored contemporary art, architecture, race, buildings, urban subjects and urban material. James Voorhies, Chair, Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, California College of the Arts, moderated the conversation.