I make work that explores the colonization of the mind and body through media and cultural production, engaging their relationship to capital accumulation. I am interested in how this process decenters ties to essentialisms and how this can be both a potential and a loss.
I do this by thinking about our relationship to objects—or, more specifically, to consumer products. I am interested in the cultures of circulation produced by objects and people in a global context. For example, advertising constructs the very idea of what it is to “be human.” Put another way, I am interested in how the subject is constructed in relation to capitalism—how our behavior, language, relationships, and personality are interpolated by things like advertising. I use fiction and the aesthetics of advertisement to engage and historicize the media and cultural processes that colonize the mind and body. Drawing on my own multinational background—born to a Nigerian father and an English mother in Alabama, and brought up in a working-class suburb of London—my work explores the ideological dimensions and material functions of technology, architecture, marketing techniques, and media as tools of subjection and oppression.
Dean is currently an Assistant professor in Visual Art at UC San Diego.