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Works-in-progress: Vestiges

1. Trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists
2. Smallest amount (used to emphasize the absence of something)
3. Part or organ of an organism that has become reduced or functionless in the course of evolution
late Middle English: from French, from Latin vestigium ‘footprint’.

Oxford English dictionary

For our group virtual exhibition, we’ve selected the word vestiges as our organizing theme.  Because this will be online, I am working on three digital pieces that extend existing bodies of work. 

Gathering of Ancestors is an initial foray into working with/ in augmented reality.  I am taking photos from my family photo archive and placing them in the park across from my Chicago apartment.  The piece is a reflection on journey, displacement, and the fact that wherever I go there I am–and they are as well.  I have been contemplating concepts of “the modes of the personal,” alter egos, figurative stand-ins, and speculative history,

Where I am in the process: I am figuring out which images to use/include, and  preparing the photo files for production. Example/test: raw/rough example of how photos in augmented reality might work.

Example/test: raw/rough example of how photos in augmented reality might work.

For Carceral Archipelagos: Questions, I am looking at ways to adapt social practices that I have done in a variety of physical spaces to virtual space.  The IRL pieces asked the participant-viewer to answer questions–such as “How would you spend the $10B that the US currently spends on incarceration?”,”What if the criminal justice system functions as intended?”– placing their responses on sticky notes on a wall for others to read and ponder. There is also an audio piece where I ask individuals to imagine/enact living in a 5×7 space that could also be enacted in virtual space. Lastly, there is an simple process of filling out a commissary list that invites reflection on the internal economy of prisons.

Moving this process from in-person to online means not just translating it statically but rather making the best use of the digital tool to prompt engagement and reflection–and that provides updates in real time. Where I am in process: I am exploring examples of interactive online works and games, and determining whether I can design and execute the coding  in a little more than a week

For Cartographies: Chicago, I am considering using the mapping techniques I used in Cartographies: 365 Days and applying it to extrajudicial killings that have happened in the Chicago area in the years since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO.  Cartographies: 365 Days (One Year Later)

Cartographies: 365 Days (One Year Later)

Where I am in process:  I have been pulling the Chicago data from my data sources, determining the most appropriate time frame (one-year after, 7 years after, or something in between),  and deciding whether a corollary dataset should be visualized relating to the shootings/ murders that happen in the community.

There are not enough hours in the day to read all that I want to read,  to research, to allow the ideas to simmer and gel, and to make all the art I want to make—and that makes me sad.