Friday, April 27, 2012

I Am: Blog 2

"I Am": Process

I was originally inspired by the work of Candy Chang. Her work deals with the community. I love her "Before I Die" Project which was basically a large wall space that allowed for people to write their own responses to the prompt "Before I die I want to..." I thought this was such a fantastic way to get individualized and unique answers, while at the same time bringing together a community of people that wrote on the same board.

I remember being struck by the idea that I could do something similar with a very different type of prompt. I wanted to create something that also involved the community to interact with and to express themselves. The idea that I wanted to deal with is creating a positive space for a community.

When going through difficult times I often look down on myself and find it hard to look at myself in the mirror. However, one of the things I learned through therapy was to use positive affirmations. I would write "I am..." statements on sticky notes and stick them to my mirror. In this project I want to encourage other people to make their own positive affirmations and add them into a collective, positive statement about ourselves.

I had originally planned on making a large scale installation type piece, but as I felt strapped for time and was unsure of what kind of space to do it in I found myself looking for other options. I decided to turn the work into more of a performance piece and form it around a video.

The piece turned into a more personalized setting and meaning. There were thirteen participants, including myself. I asked each person who participated to write down a meaningful positive affirmation about themselves on a sticky note. They were then told to affix it to themselves and then put it on the mirror. After that, I would stand in front of the mirror, taking in each newly added positive statement.

I think that each person came away with a stronger sense of self and positive feeling about each other. I think that in that way, I achieved the main goal of this project and felt accomplished. I was especially proud of the way that the video turned out.

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