Wow. I woke up this morning to an announcement that PoemTalk (hosted by The Kelly Writers House at UPenn) held a discussion about two of my poems from my first book. Amazing. So much gratitude to Al Filreis, Sawako Nakayasu, Donato Mancini, and Gabriel Ojeda-Sague for the generous attention and care.
I’m part of this amazing group show at one of my most favorite art spaces, Georgia, in town! I’m thrilled to be in such amazing artist community. It opens Friday September 21.
I’ll be presenting a video piece about intimacy titled “To Be Alive, the Softest Splendor.” To view it, you crawl under a blanket fort and put on some headphones. I’m grateful to Joshua Ware for including me and the amazing Sommer Browning for making such lovely community gatherings possible.
To Be Alive, The Softest Splendor (installation and video, 2018)
The relational experience of intimacy—of discovering yourself in a shared moment of human connection and vulnerable safety—invokes a special attention, one that focuses heightened interest on fine details. The glorious beauty of a turning hand, the gentle play of light catching on someone’s hair.
I have found that urban environments invite me to narrow my attention far more than vast open landscapes—the sense of density and crowding requires me to hone rather than diffuse. This was something I mourned for many years, as I felt it was a sad survival response to regular street harassment and an assault I experienced while living in Philadelphia. By narrowing my attention, I realized I was trying to shield myself from the aggressive or hateful interest of others. A cocoon of focus. This video piece is a small healing effort—to remind myself of the beauties in being small.
I believe that gentle attention is a type of love—in these cases, that loving interest casts a friendship light onto my friends’ bodies as they share a little bit of their time and stories with me. My hope is that while viewing this piece, Georgia’s guests will share in the affectionate interest I experienced while making this piece; that we’ll all collectively remember what a joy it is to be alive, the softest splendor.
I’m headed to a new artist residency program out in the forests in Washington state, the Rockland Woods Residency. I sort of can’t believe all the amazing artists I’ll be in community with. I’ll try and feature them each while I’m there. I hope to make some video work about desire and landscape, write some alchemy poems, and make friends. I think it’s going to be good for my soul!
I was honored to share about Peace Light’s history and genesis with Imani Roach from Artblog Radio last week. You can listen here. We talked about where the concept came from, audience, collaboration, and what it means to be alive and an artist in the world.
Wonderful news! I was commissioned by the Asian Arts Initiative for an installation piece as part of their 25th Anniversary exhibition series, (ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence. I am honored to get to work with builder and designer Kai Wei Hsu and dance artist JungWoong Kim in realizing this installation, and can’t wait to have it go live in May!
I”ll be in Philadelphia the last week of March finalizing some of the material aspects of the installation, making video work, and capturing sound for a sound score.
The Asian Arts Initiative has been a very special place to me. I’ll never forget that Gayle Isa, the Executive Director, fostered my interest in performance–even inviting me to participate in a performance arts exchange and series many years ago. AAI is a rare place. It’ll good to be back home with them!
My third post for Harriet the Blog is live at the Poetry Foundation!
My second post at the Poetry Foundation for Harriet the Blog is live today. Titled, “Light is a Complex Medium,” I write about Michele Kishita, James Turrell, Josef Albers, Claude Monet, and the emotional resonances of light and color.