I first saw Justin Clifford Rhody’s monthly slideshow Vernacular Visions at Huffin House, a live-in warehouse space in East Oakland. The lights were turned off, and a large crowd of intoxicated partygoers huddled on couches, chairs, and on the carpet as Rhody projected a series of random, unrelated images onto a blank wall. Underneath the hum of the slide projector and a mixtape soundtrack, Rhody provided a tongue-in-cheek voiceover to the slides, something akin to a DVD commentary track but one that welcomed and interacted with the viewer. As I returned each month to see Vernacular Visions at it’s various locations, but most prominently at Lake Merritt in Oakland, I saw that each slide, taken out of its cultural, historical, and personal context, could be seen in a new association. Images that were originally disregarded as having no value suddenly had opportunities to be re-interpreted, and re-valued, often on artistic grounds. It’s what the surrealists might refer to as poetry made by all. Earlier this year, I sat down with Rhody at his East Oakland apartment for a question and answer session about Vernacular Visions and the ideas behind the project. A transcript of that conversation can be found in this month's issue of The Conversant.