DESCRIPTION 

Cherry is a vector drawing of a torso facing an uncanny cherry blossom layered on top of an early 20th century picture postcard. The original photograph depicts a family posing in front of an impoverished abode under a tag that reads “Mexican Mansion, San Antonio, Tex.”. The vector drawing responds to the way in which this image seems to have conjured a sense of visual pleasure by positioning brown bodies in front of adobe (mud brick) houses. Indeed, produced in Adobe Illustrator, the erotic torso calls attention to the design of the body under the rubric of the Western gaze. It also plays with the parallel that is often drawn between ethnography and pornography, as they are both modes of representation that rely on voyeurism, expectation and power. Vector graphics drive this enquiry because they are most commonly associated with product design and operate by joining nodes that allow them to shift in size without suffering quality loss. Thus, they carry connotations that are productive for thought in the context of racial relations and representation. One could think of each vector point, for instance, as making a statement to the next until an image is rendered visible. This is similar to the way in which multiple texts may interact with each other in a cohesive manner to create knowledge of a particular culture – perhaps to validate a way of looking or give form to a stereotype.