Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cacoon response - Oleksiuk

As the Peter Dobers and Lars Strannegård point out in The Cocoon-A Traveling Space, the art work Cacoon by Jennie Pineus is worthy of consideration on a number of levels. The work intuits and reflects our construction and conceptualization of space, and the various journeys of the piece prompt us deconstruct our notions of space across broad swaths of symbolic, representational, and physical space and time.

This deconstruction runs counter to our built up universe, but parallels its long-term entropic state. In his talk "World With Us, World Without Us" as part of the Long Now Foundations series on Long-term thinking, Alan Weisman points out (.mp3 is free) that despite the damage we have done to the world in our short existence here, if we went away tomorrow, Earth planet would get along just fine without us. Instead of using this claim to support notions that humans are incapable of wrecking the planet, he sees this as a hope that we can turn the tide of the damage - that the damage we are doing is to ourselves only. He makes the environmental personal, and asks, if Nature took its course, would it include us?

My thesis work also explores some of ideas of geographic space embedded in Cocoon. Andyland-Ukraine investigates being a global citizen - a perspective that strips away many layers of identity to get to care ideas of alterity and reciprocity. In this role in my thesis semester, I am a student, a Chicagoan, and Illinoisian, a Midwesterner, an American, a Westerner, and an artist. That's quite a bit of cruft to contend with. But at the end of the day, I am exploring being a global citizen - acting in the role of international relations: a diplomat, an agitator, an activist (and researcher).

Expressed within the work are transnational boundaries, reciprocity and alterity of public and social spaces and the systems that mediate them, as manifested in the physical, economic, political and symbolic realms.

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