Thursday, January 15, 2009

Video: Accommodation for James Johnson

So, I'm setting up online video sharing accounts. I'm going to post one video each week. This first one I put together after a recent conversation with my oldest friend James Johnson. I made the audio in my Whale Costume.

Accommodation (for James Johnson) by Jamie Burkart.

"Some parts of what I'm doing are deeply me. And some parts are more arbitrary. I believe that we can accommodate each other without compromising ourselves."

So, looking at this I see that there is part of the frame that I occupy. And there is another part that is somehow cultivated for critical openness.

You might read these audio and video feedback performances as a counterpoint to the Japanese Obsessional installations. The Obsessionals feared we would lose ourselves in the Infinity Net. I assert that as we integrate deeply, our dynamic identity networks can remain our own.

In Japan since WWII there have been artists that call themselves Obsessional. They are concerned about loosing themselves in the homogeneity of infinitely permuting patterns. There is a fear of contamination or loss of cultural and personal identity through assimilation. The one is always about to be consumed by the infinite whole.

In Yayoi Kusa's installations all texture is erased by polka dots. You enter a room with a polka dotted floor, a polka dotted mannequin and mirrors for walls. Immersed in an infinite feedback network you confuse yourself with the doll at your side and cease to exist.

She writes, "One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body and the universe. I felt as if I had begun to self-obliterate, to revolve in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space, and be reduced to nothingness."

I will share 10,000 identities and still be myself.

How do you keep your head above the water when you are deep in a context? Or do you let go? Do you feel compromised, or are you accommodating?

- Jamie
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