Meet a VC Intern: Davis Avila

Summertime is usually an exciting time for Visual Communications (VC), as we bring aboard students from different schools to be part of the VC Family. Learn more about our VC Archives Intern Davis Avila, who came to us from USC.

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Tell us about yourself.
DAVIS: For the record, my name is Davis Avila. I am an Archives Intern at VC. I do everything from scan documents to crinkle little pieces of paper.

What do you do day-to-day?
The main long term task is scanning and organizing archival film photos, to digitize our Visual Communications Archive. I’m also helping on the At First Light project with museum installations. I'm researching different images of Asian American caricatures, Yellow Peril, and Asian American Civil Rights protests back in the day, as well as contemporary images to link what the Founders were doing before Visual Communications was founded to the current political climate. And I’m helping with the Kazari!

What is a kazari?
From what I can tell, it is related to the Japanese Tanabata Festival which I’ve deemed Japanese Valentine’s Day, where these star-crossed lovers in the stars only meet once a year and we celebrate by hanging streamers with wishes in trees. A kazari is something you make with the streamers.

What is something that you’re working on that stands out to you?
I didn’t realize that a lot of my own ~artistic praxis~ if you will, is about taking from archival images and media, all of my music is very sample based, all of my graphics and visuals and films all take from found footage and found images. I’ve always really loved archival media but being at Visual Communications and working in the Archives and realizing that about myself, it’s been really neat. It has actually really shaped what I might want to do after college working with archival media and being an archivist.

Is that what you want to do?
I’m interested in working with Internet Archive, whose mission is to archive all human existence and the entire internet. They’re really neat - I’ve used a lot of their expansive resources before, and I really believe in what they’re doing.

What has been your favorite moment here at VC?
It's been very cool to meet everyone here; the whole team, staffers, interns. When I meet people here who have relevant experience or want to know more about what my parents do, I can let my parents know about them. Just having this network of people that I can be friends with and that I can shared this young intern experience with has been really cool and I really appreciate that.