Ramblings of a Community Art student

I was angry when I made this work. We were expected to buy a car in order to get to our residency sites. Public transport in Baltimore takes too long and is unreliable, they say. Bicycles won't be an option when you have loads of materials to carry, they say. People in Baltimore seem to rely on the private car not only to get around but also to keep themselves safe. They don't seem to realize that the more they try to protect themselves in their metal boxes, the more their environment becomes unsafe.

Americans say "Hi, How you 'doin'?" to practically everyone they meet on the street. You're supposed to reply with "Good! How are you?" As a Filipino not used to being addressed by people I don't know, I always fumbled for an answer. I realized, though, that I don't really need to think of how I really am doing because the person who asked really isn't interested. They're too much in a hurry. That's why they need a car, cel phones, internet access everywhere.

Despite my criticism of the American urban lifestyle, I must express that I admire the Americans I meet for their generosity and commitment to community work. I thought of including myself in the piece but thought better of it. If the work becomes too powerful, it'll only ruffle some feathers. I may be able to get my point across but won't be able to bridge understanding. 

I just needed to speak my mind. It was such a release when I got it done.

16 July 2009

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