As those of you who have read Gibbin House or seen my art installations can attest, immigration, travel, assimilation, and the effects of language on identity lie at the core of much of what I do.
So naturally, when I saw this call for prosecti from InterARTive for its special October "Art & Mobility" issue a couple months ago, I really wanted to be a part of it. I did so for several reasons, not least of them being that the theme of mobility plays such a central role in my writing and paper art, and that this would also be the first legitimately academic medium in which to share my work. I applied and was over the moon to find the brief email notice in my inbox a few weeks ago, announcing that I would be among the amazing roster of international artists featured.
InterARTive describes the idea behind this issue in the following words "to reflect on the multiple aspects of cultural and artistic mobility and to open the way towards a transdisciplinary field of study that increasingly claims its place in the analysis and research of the social and cultural dynamics of the contemporary world."
In simpler terms, the world is changing. For centuries we have defined our art and aesthetics by our cultural values and social constructs. But in the 21st century, in this global and 'mobile' society, we no longer have distinct aesthetic or cultural boundaries. Obviously this is not a new idea. But while most people will focus on the benefits of the multi-cultural melting pot results we see in our modern experience, there is another side, a tale of displacement, transience, homelessness, resettlement and asylum. Art has explored such issues in recent years as mass-manufacturing, globalization, etc...so it must now tackle the most immediate topic of immigration, transculturation, and the recalibration of self in a transnational world, as it concerns our emotional, political, and ideological existence.
I consider myself an emblem of this experience, a child of many cultures, a citizen of many countries, with each foot in a different place, never quite sure of where I belong, because my skin, my language, or my social behavior will forever tag me with the label of 'other', no matter where I am. More than any single factor in my life, this state of not belonging coupled with my appreciation of every culture that lives in me, will forever color everything I create.
Thus, inclusion in this issue is a great show of acceptance of my work, as it pertains to the topic and to the conceptual art community at large. It means my message, however transmitted via the whimsical flurry of white paper and light, is being heard, is valid.
To read more on my "Lichtsprache" (illuminated language), follow the link: