My MFADT professor Melanie Crean has put together an interesting project called, ‘The Shape of Change”. She is putting together a database of responses to a series of questions that deal with the idea of change, and the similarities and differences between the United States and Iraq. Check out the website here: http://shapeofchange.com/. Below are the questions she is asking and my responses to them.
1. How do you define change over time? How do you see it manifest in the world around you? How do you address it in your personal life and work?
I believe that change over time equals evolution and growth. People grow old and die; sometimes they become wiser, sometimes they don’t; sometimes they learn from their mistakes, sometimes the don’t. Just because someone’s body ages, and they have lived a little longer on this planet, does not for one second automatically, mean they are wiser, or more knowledgeable. Change is everywhere all the time, except many people choose to ignore it. Global warming is an example of change, just as getting the local bodega to break a dollar bill so you can do you laundry. My artistic career has taken so many twists and turns a GPS would have a hard time keeping up. My current project is about tracking change and discovering how and why things have evolved in a particular way. It deals with the concept of the clown, and how the clown has evolved throughout time. Where there are certain cultures that adore the clown, and certain cultures that loath the clown. The clown is a reflection of society, and the more honest that society is, they more they accept the clown, and the more dishonest that society is, the more they fear it, because they cannot deal with the truth.
2. What do you feel would constitute meaningful political change in the country where you live? What is the potential for individuals to affect political change where you are?
Meaningful political change would be, the ability of government to actually be run by and represent the “people”. Unfortunately, I don’t even trust the “people” enough to give them that much responsibility. I suppose there is the potential in this country, for significant change, or Obama would not be the president, unless, we are living through another “Dog and Pony Show”.
3. How do you define freedom? Where do you feel most free? What changes would need to take place in your life for you to feel free?
Freedom is the ability to think, feel, and express one’s self. I feel most free while making something. Although, to be honest, I only have experiences living in a country where I have be taught that freedom is supposed to be “life in the USA”, so I really don’t know if I am free, or if I just think I am. I guess freedom is my ability to question everything, anything that seeks to take that away from me, is killing freedom.
4. If you could represent these forms of change visually or metaphorically, what would they look like? How would you define your own ‘potential utopia,’ meaning a utopia you think might be possible to create?
Unfortunately, “control”, seems to be the only logical way to create a “utopia”, people cannot control themselves long enough to create a perfect world. I think no matter what, the effect would always represent something that resembled the classic William Golding novel, “The Lord of the Flies”. From my perspective, the best way to achieve something close to a utopia, is to create things that stimulate people brains, to keep them thinking, and questioning. As people get older, they stop asking why; I guess my job is to remind them, to question everything.
5. Where were you born, and where do you live now (country, state, city)?
I was born in Norfolk, Virginia, grew up in Virginia Beach, and moved to NYC two weeks before Sept. 11th.