Since the advent of social media, it has had an explosive presence in our world. Many job positions require candidates to be adept, well connected social media navigators on not just one but several social media networks. With increasing frequency, companies and organizations are advertising their Facebook page, as opposed to their proper website. Upon meeting a potential friend/business relation/significant other, one now uses the adage "Find me on Facebook (or whatever social media network one utilizes)" - instead of using the archaic form of exchanging information (name, phone number, email address, etc.). And the list of examples of how social media has changed the world in which we live goes on.
The world has become "smaller" through social media networks, making those in different hemispheres suddenly accessible, but the gap between people in real, everyday life has chasmed. It seems that those precious connections we make only through physical presence have lost their place in our society. Text messages and email have replaced phone calls-distancing us from vocal dialogue. Our Smartphones have replaced in-person conversation as we text, email, "comment," "tweet," and connect with scores of people, all while seated across from a living, breathing human being (whom is surely doing the very same thing on their Smartphone). It seems that human connection, if not dead already, is on its last breath, hooked up to a wonky respirator.
The current situation saddens me. As an artist, observer, and creature of this earth, I plan to explore networks and establish "real," human-to-human connections with those I encounter through my "Global Art Project" (GAP). With this project, I hope to connect with others, friends and friends of friends, by staying with them and creating artwork for my hosts.
I arrive in Paris, France on June 20, 2011 with no further travel plans as everything in this project is based on my hosts. I have created parameters for GAP by traveling to and staying with ONLY friends and friends of friends. This means that if I do NOT have a "connection" (friend or friend of a friend) in a city/town or country, then I cannot travel there. My travel plans rely 100% on the kindness and hospitality of my hosts.
During my stay with a host, I will readily assimilate to their lifestyle by aiding them in daily chores or tasks, as well as joining them in leisure activities that are common for them. My host will provide me with room and board (I will have a sleeping bag in the event that a bed or a couch isn't available) during my visit. I will not stay longer than one week with any host. I will create a piece of artwork for each host to act as a gift for their hospitality and to represent my physical presence. I will photograph each host and will later place them on a chart - marking the network I've created during GAP.
The length of GAP is dependent upon my hosts and my limited funds. Either I'll run out of hosts or finances - or both - and thusly GAP will come to a close.
During GAP, I will be journaling, sketching, painting, tinkering, photographing, and documenting my network as it extends. I hope to compile everything to exhibit and/or publish.
If you feel you can help me with your financial contribution, encouraging words, offering to host me or suggesting a friend of yours to host, or advise - please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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