Considering documentation as a form of curation, and curation as a form of storytelling, and story as a proposal for our real world, I am curious about how my art weaves together nonfiction and speculative fiction. I inherit the term “speculative fiction” from my afro-futurist come befores. And am left to question: how are we telling (and enacting) the freest true story possible? And how are we redesigning our world in terms of the un- or yet- seen, done, imagined? To live a life that is truly unhinged – I’m thinking of Amelia’s palimpsest – that operates on a deeper level of critical thinking and imagining and engagement. To in fact build the terms of our own existence. To remain faithful to an uncolonized future.
I am significantly inspired by the cohesive breadth of Anton’s work—his reoccurring radio projects in particular. (More particularly, Bloxburgh FM in Jamaica !!!) I am inspired by them as documentation of a community’s collaborative, political engagement. I am inspired by them as examples of how art practice invigorates collective social performance. By his intervention of art within the “everyday,” in a way that invites people closer to each other and to their world—and in deeper participation in its shaping. Leaving our program, I am seeking to develop a practice that meditates on the thing which connects us most visibly, most pragmatically, and most necessarily: living together. Perhaps this relates to my desire to travel and to make work that is site specific? Either way, I believe that change starts at the local site, and my dream is to apply creative investigation, strategy, and collaboration to its pursuit. (I think of Grace Lee Boggs’ words: “in order to transform the world, we must be transformed ourselves.”)
This notion of living together, of sharing space, of sharing home, I see as a sufficient prerequisite to conceive of ourselves (radically) as kin. And how do we speculate, devise, and enact radical forms of togetherness in the making, doing, and documenting of our work? This to me is a political practice of cultural meaning-making, of constructing our own world, with new politics of care relation. It is a creative social project, building complex grounds of politically engaged community. Which to me means collective, participatory work at is responsive to the problems we encounter.
I am coming to see my artistic self as a creative documenter of social, collaborative living, understanding that this work inherently brings with it the curatorial—the act of proposing a particular vision of our world, of reframing our reality through the lens of artistic intervention. This, I think, is to bend reality and how we operate inside of it. I think this means that I am primarily excited by transformation, but more specifically: growth, restoration, and healing. I am passionate about thriving and tall, fruitful trees.
I’m thinking of the artist as a dealer in time and in change. One with the capacity to envision the future, document and redress the present, and to reinterpret past. Thus I’m thinking of my art as an investigation of the evolutionary project of world-making, as projects of an intervention in change over time.
As a final note: I’m also really attracted to Anton’s language of “practice driven research projects.” I think it’s quite genius and have been trying to apply the model to my own work. (Practice driven community/kin building? I’ll keep discovering it.) I am also greatly impressed by the cohesiveness of his research interests in his practice so far (sound archive, research, care for elderly). In the context of my own work, I’m thinking that may be “found” material (text, movement, story, etc.). I also think it may be creative leadership. I think this may be how I intersect storytelling within artistic project and community building within the same.