3 Project Ideas

Socially Engaged Art and Digital Practice

16 Sep 2018

Having engaged in a lot of different ways of making I have mixed feelings about social practice work. From an art theory standpoint I understand the need to define it and contextualize this type of work from others, I personally am not quite convinced by some of these works. Notably, Rick Lowe’s Project Row Houses is often cited as a pinnacle example of social practice but I am not like to make a work like that. I feel that many socially engaged works, such as this example, are more about designing an experience or reaction rather than engaging as art.

I continue to wrestle with what is social practice and how I can use the medium in my own work, but for now I present 3 nascent ideas.

Vietnamese Diaspora Viz

In this work I would like to give voice to the often overlooked Vietnamese community in America. For over half a century Vietnam has been discussed with a major contention in politics and social activism. Too often American media has a very American-centric view of the world politics and even well meaning liberals rob agency from the Vietnamese non-communist. I believe that this stems from lack of awareness about the Vietnamese diaspora that followed the Vietnam War.

Being a member of the Vietnamese-American community, allows me to see both attitudes of American intervention, but in this project I would like to expose more of the experience of Vietnamese diaspora. Having spent the last year in Saigon, Vietnam I think that this story will be forgotten soon as the current regime in Vietnam will not allow for this discussion, and Americans are too uncomfortable with discussing the fallout from Vietnam.

In order to educate the public I would create a series of data visualizations. Using public records on immigrants and refugees I would like to show the flow of people from Vietnam to the west following the war and I will also create other viz that will tell their story.

Exquisite Corpse Object

An exquisite corpse is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. I would like to create an machine that allows for people to draw or make a sequence which will be compiled after a set period of time. This allows for people to interact together to make an art piece.

Exquisite Corpse Network

Similar to the the object but built on a web platform to allow for long distance interaction. In this form I can consider using websockets for live long distance collaboration as well.

More ideas to come…