We had the good fortune of connecting with J Aaron Byrnes and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi J Aaron, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“Beauty is a form of genius–is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation.” — Oscar Wilde Because my video art is based so much in esoteric glamour, I sometimes get frustrated with how superficial it can seem. I try to keep in mind that beauty and glamour are languages with their own rich histories, and with them I can express ideas I couldn’t say with words alone.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I mostly work in the medium of video art. Ever since childhood I was fascinated by the overlap between the cinematic and the magical; with my work I try and merge the two, performing elaborate video rituals to affect change in the viewer’s consciousness. I’m happy with the visual language I’m developing for myself. I got my start in video art when I began a film fellowship down here in Miami in 2018. I think one of the biggest challenges in Miami is that the city is always changing, which is exciting, but it’s been very important for me to create a routine around my art practice and stick to it, that way even when the city changes I can remain constant. I want people to look at my work, both independent and with witchess! and feel powerful. I’ve never felt as empowered as I do since moving to Miami.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since the pandemic started, I haven’t been going out to my usual favorite spots in the city. Instead, I’ve been spending more time in nature at beaches and walking through nature trails. My favorite trails are the ones over at Mattheson Hammock.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m part of a femme, BILAPOC-led art and media collective called ‘witchess!’. We started creating together during quarantine, and have created a series of rituals, zines, video projects and informational tiktoks since we’ve started. Our goal is to remind people about the magic and powers that they already have inside themselves. We rely on each other heavily to realize our projects and collective visions. This group means a lot to me creatively, but also because it’s a safe place for me to exchange ideas and feelings with others like myself.

Website: aaronbyrnes.com

Instagram: @homosuperiorr @witchesscollective

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBeAXAOsHUq9s4SEPzd6tbw

Other: @witchesscollective on tiktok

Image Credits
Personal Photo — Lexy Morales, 2019

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