Kahlil Joseph


Fall 2020 - Ongoing

LAND presents a citywide installation of Kahlil Joseph’s BLKNWS®​, a conceptual news program taking the form of a two-channel installation connected to a newscast that blurs the lines between art, reporting, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique. ​BLKNWS® is currently broadcast at sites across Los Angeles, with a focus on South Los Angeles and black-owned businesses. This iteration of ​BLKNWS® ​aims to bring the work to its largest audience yet, reaching people in their everyday environments.

Participating Sites: Patria Coffee Roasters,  Hank’s Mini Market,  Bloom & Plume Coffee,  Natraliart Jamaican RestaurantTotal Luxury Spa, UNION,  Go Get Em Tiger, and Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen (View Park Location).

Previous sites included: Sole FolksSt. John’s Well Child & Family Center ClinicCedars-Sinai HospitalTouched By An Angel / SON.Hollywood Bureau, Underground Museum, and the Hammer Museum.

See Google Map below for sites. We recommend checking the site’s website before visiting for most current hours and visiting instructions.

This citywide presentation was originally commissioned as part of the Hammer Museum’s Made in LA 2020: a version, curated by Myriam Ben-Salah and Lauren Mackler.


BLKNWS®​ is best described as a ‘conceptual news program’, or ‘conceptual journalism’, that is simultaneously a work of art as well as a media entity. It takes the form of a two-channel installation connected to a newscast that blurs the lines between art, reporting, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique.

Exploring film as a powerful collective experience that can be manipulated through its essential visual and audio components, ​BLKNWS® ​reflects upon the contemporary period utilizing fragments of popular culture, archival material, and filmed news desk segments. Historical iconography sits side by side with ordinary images from our daily lives. When examined through Joseph’s lens, these images are steeped with an unusual perception of contemporary society that doubles as the artist’s ethos, inheriting a new life of reflection and signification. The dichotomy constructed by the device of the split screen polarizes the images employed, fragmenting the narrative and formalizing the images for their poetic and political potential. The ways in which the newscast is combined and collaged becomes as surreal as our current cultural condition.


Kahlil Joseph was born in 1981 in Seattle. Early on, he earned his spurs working for the photographer Melodie McDaniel and the movie director Terrence Malick. Joseph creates films and video installations that disrupt linear narratives with a particular treatment of music, used both as a material and as a model of lyricism and complexity. Joseph’s practice scrambles the conventional approach to and understanding of video: his films quote the likes of Andrei Tarkovsky and Chris Marker and feature pop culture icons and underground heroes alike. Joseph’s current focus is the ongoing project BLKNWS®, an artwork and functioning business established as a way to redefine how Black culture is experienced, viewed, and communicated. BLKNWS® starts from the postulate that anything can be “news” that is new to someone. Originally conceived as a television program, it presents an uninterrupted—though highly edited—stream of images focusing on African American life, including YouTube videos, amateur film footage, internet memes, Instagram stories, and actual news clips. The work operates through a network of highly skilled editors and fugitive journalists—constantly updating the stream—whom Joseph hires and supports, forming a sort of BLKNWS® academy that reflects his interest in community-driven process. Joseph’s work with BLKNWS® was included in May You Live in Interesting Times at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019) and in the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Geneva (2018). His short film Fly Paper debuted as part of his 2017 solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York. Other exhibitions include those at Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2017); Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2016); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2015). Joseph currently serves as the creative director of the Underground Museum alongside his family, carrying out the vision of his brother, the late Noah Davis.


The Hammer’s biennial exhibition series​ M​ade in L.A. focuses exclusively on artists from the L.A. region with an emphasis on emerging and under-recognized artists. The Los Angeles biennial debuts new installations, videos, films, sculptures, performances, and paintings commissioned specifically for the exhibition and offers a snapshot of the current trends and practices coming out of Los Angeles, one of the most active and energetic art communities in the world.


The Hammer Museum is part of the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA, and offers exhibitions and collections that span classic to contemporary art. It holds more than 50,000 works in its collection, including one of the finest collections of works on paper in the nation, the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts.​ ​Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial,​ ​Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. The exhibitions, permanent collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—are all free to the public.

The citywide presentation of BLKNWS® is co-produced by the Hammer Museum and LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) for Made in L.A. 2020. Major support is provided by Aubrey Drake Graham. Additional support is provided by Angeles Art Fund.

Production support for this presentation of BLKNWS® is provided by Apple Music.

Made in L.A. 2020: a version was organized by the Hammer Museum in partnership with The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.