Native American Heritage Month: Filmmaker Fox Maxy on Identity


Fox has always wanted to be a filmmaker. He began his foray into filmmaking by making clips on Instagram. His practice is rooted in the means available to him, which is why his films are shot on a phone — yet have an early Tumblr, analog feel. He is inspired by artists that span generations, popularity, and genre. “I love James Luna, John Akomfrah & the Black Audio Film Collective, Ryan Trecartin, Bjork, Paul McCarthy, Kim Kardashian, Pipilotti Rist, Rob Zombie, Issa Rae, and Cat Marnell,” Fox shares.

Fox learned how to edit film on Instagram. “Step by step,” he says, reflecting on the humble, isolated origin of his artmaking from his unexpected present position of mainstream exposure. “I would make things out of pure rage, just so angry that no matter how hard I worked, I was still invisible to the world,” Fox says. 

It’s not secret that in the art world, there are barriers of entry erected by the same colonialist social institutions and heteronormative white-supremacy — that have often erased histories of Native people. Yet, Fox doesn’t let these paradigms stop him from creating the work. Fox felt that it was impossible to make a movie, until he realized that filmmaking isn’t controlled by outside powers. Rather, it is a practice, possible for anyone with the means to capture moving images. 

“Anyone can make a movie,” Fox says. “This colonized world really makes people think they have to take direction from somebody or something. I don’t know anything more than anyone else. I make up my own rules, and I hope my work can let people know that they can do whatever the hell they want.”



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