This memorial day I saw one of my dreams realized. This project was a vision two years ago. It was even a bit jarring to my nervous system to now be living with the 3D version of this piece. It was born from very intense frustration and some pure fucking rage but something knew we could turn it into love. The overtaking of ego by purest self produced an explosion in my mind, a vision brought me to my knees. A complete reorganization of my mind space happened, my values changed in what seems like an instant. Organizing with people to rant about our concerns did nothing to ease the personal suffering I experienced. Honestly this made me feel more frustrated because all of us together couldn’t change even one person’s oppression. I saw people who have the same things to lose alienate each other over ideological differences. I realized that I had moved into the spaces I had for lessons not longevity. My purpose is to enlighten through love and creativity. I now understand that freedom is an individual choice and so the project is fully understood.
Enough back story now to the art! The original vision revealed the television set exactly as it is with my body chained to it. I was in Boston common, having initially conceptualized a stationary piece. The TV set you see is a part of a performance during which I lug it around sometimes appearing pained and begging for freedom at others appearing mindless and drained but determined to move forward. My goal was to convey the idea of being weighted inhibited harmed and hurt by this apparatus but being willing to die carrying it because on some level I believe I need it. The box represents propaganda and conditioning on the most superficial level but also nationalism, racism, sexism religion and beauty, sexuality or gender standards. I was easily able to put myself back in the raw emotional space from which the project came, maybe helped by the physical pain and stifled blood circulation brought on by the chain. I had some extremely intense moments where I screamed in frustration cried and struggled with the box for my life.
Some offered me help and seemed genuinely concerned. A few immediately understood it as performance art. Some people took pictures and video, some asked questions and wanted to connect with what was happening. Some made jokes some looked away and few even thought I was involved in some horrible game or hazing ritual. I listened to conversations, to what people said to me and answered most of their questions while staying in the performance. From 2pm to 8pm I performed through the streets of down town Providence and Boston. I crossed Boston common, canvased downtown crossing, crossed the common again and visited Newbury St. The second crossing of the common was the true full circle moment. There where people everywhere. I came to a clearing and I saw the event from both past and present perspectives. I collapsed to the ground and the moment I saw so clearly 2 years ago came to pass. I sobbed and struggled to free myself. I screamed at the top of my lungs to release all the energy that had built the moment. I made contact with many people that day and what I will never forget is the looks in their eyes. I perceived deeply buried fear solidarity support and even relief, some expressing these outwardly as well. I expected more pushback than I experienced, finding the overwhelming reaction to be support. Funny thing, when it was time to execute I found myself needing no one’s support and receiving it from everywhere.
This is an act of love even though it was born from war. I do this because I love this planet and because I love humanity. Open minds and free expression are our salvation. I chose to memorialize those who have given there lives in the name of love by speaking truth. ♥♥♥