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This image displays a pair of 3D-printed, circular, pendant earrings hanging against a black background. The majority of the surface is blue, overlaid with a sliver grid that orbits around a hole in the center with brown trim on the inner ring and the outer ring.

The Replo Showroom

Whitney Brooks

Resin, Vinyl, Metal, Acrylic Paint, Single Channel Video, 2022

This showroom imagines a future in which solar energy acts as a new commodity, like gold and silver, to be collected and used as a tool to build wealth. It highlights a speculative or wearable accessory designed to collect solar energy, known as a Replo, to provoke thoughts about new methods of saving money and resources for an uncertain future. My primary and secondary research, on both the financial crisis of 2008 and financial literacy education in predominantly African American communities, found the assumption that African Americans ages 17 - 22 make risky financial decisions and have difficulties with wealth management led to an increased wealth gap in the United States. This space is meant to counter the sense of alienation that young African Americans feel in spaces reserved for financial planning, evoking inspiration from the high-end jewelry exhibitions of Tiffany and Cartier coupled with speculative projects like Dunne and Raby’s Hydrogen Future to aid in the critique surrounding existing social norms.