CNY Arts, Inc.


Urban Video Project Presents Crystal Z Campell: Makahiya

February 22 - June 1, 2024
Thursday - Saturday, dusk - 11pm
Everson Museum Plaza
401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY

(SYRACUSE, NY February 14, 2024)

Light Work’s Urban Video Project is pleased to present the exhibition Crystal Z Campbell: Makahiya from February 22 - June 1, 2024 at their architectural projection site on the north facade of the Everson Museum of Art.

This exhibition features new work by multimedia artist Crystal Z Campbell, commissioned by Light Work for exhibition at UVP as part of an ambitious new commission program. Campbell was in-residence at Light Work in June 2023 to create this work.


Makahiya is an original video by Crystal Z Campbell commissioned by Light Work for the UVP architectural projection. Campbell was in-residence at Light Work in June 2023.

Makahiya, a Tagalog word that translates to “shame” or “shyness”, is the latest short experimental film from Crystal Z Campbell. Rooted in botanical research on a plant that displays
the unusual trait of thigmonasty, or touch-induced movement, Campbell’s film is structured like intertwined vines. Digital video filmed on a recent trip to their mother’s ancestral homeland in the Philippines mingles with hand drawn animations, manipulated photographs, and archival news coverage of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo and its aftermath. Makahiya explores this
seemingly sentient plant’s paradoxical identity, from rampant “invasive” weed to medicinal plant, reflecting on photosynthesis, memory, and the violent colonial impetus of regimented forgetting.

Makahiya is an excerpt from Campbell’s longer, forthcoming film project, Post Masters. This body of work is drawn from Campbell’s familial history––a Black military father formerly
stationed in the Philippines and Filipinx mother hailing from the archipelago, who both retired from the US Post Office. Campbell explores both explicit and implicit traces of labor, landscape,
love, and bodies as intimate agents, modes, and witnesses of empire ripe for decolonizing through the unraveling of sound, image, and cinematic time.

This work was commissioned by Light Work UVP for architectural projection on the Everson Museum of Art facade in Syracuse, NY.


Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and writer of Black, Filipinx, and Chinese descents whose works center the underloved. Working through archives
and omissions, Campbell finds complexity in public secrets—fragments of information known by many but undertold or unspoken. Select honors include a Creative Capital award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Harvard Radcliffe Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Award, MacDowell, Skowhegan, Rijksakademie, and Whitney ISP. Campbell was a featured filmmaker at the 67th Flaherty Film Seminar and their works have been screened or exhibited at SFMOMA, Drawing Center, ICA-Philadelphia, Artists Space, MOMA, and Block Museum amongst other venues. Their short film, REVOLVER, received the Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival and was featured in the Berlinale Expanded Film Forum. Campbell’s writing is featured in two artist books published by Visual Studies Workshop Press, and contributions to World Literature Today, Monday Journal, GARAGE, Hyperallergic, and Beacon Press. Campbell's work will have a solo exhibition at St. Louis Art Museum in Fall 2024 as the recipient of the Freund Fellowship.

Campbell is currently Associate Professor of Art and Media Study at the University at Buffalo who lives between Oklahoma and New York.

All programs are free and open to the public.
Thursday March 21, 6p.m. - How Do I Tell You I Remember
Screening and Q&A with the filmmaker at Hosmer Auditorium at the Everson Museum of Art.

To request high-resolution images for press reproduction and interviews, contact Cali Banks, Light Work Communications Coordinator, at

UVP programs are made possible by a Tier Three Project Support grant from the County of Onondaga, with the support of County Executive Ryan McMahon and the Onondaga County
Legislature, administered by CNY Arts.

All Light Work programs are made possible by the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State


Urban Video Project (UVP), a program of Light Work in partnership with the Everson Museum of Art and Onondaga County, is an outdoor architectural projection venue dedicated to the public presentation of film, video and moving image arts. UVP is one of few projects in the United States dedicated to ongoing public projections and adds a new chapter to Central New York’s
legacy as one of the birthplaces of video art using cutting-edge technology to bring art of the highest caliber to Syracuse, New York.