No kidding, right? So many of us were afraid he wouldn't win, that something would happen at the last minute to stop it. And then when he actually did, there was a feeling of shock and a whole mix of joy and disbelief. In Chicago,people were crying and laughing and dancing and holding one another at the same time. Every morning on the El, it feels like we're living in some kind of new, strange dimension of America we've never seen before - this overwhelming desire to believe in the future. I've had so many feelings come up about how to reconcile the past 8 years. I think that as Obama begins to address Iraq and Afghanistan, we are going to have to look at what has happened and see our complicity, our depression, our feelings of being oppressed by the Bush presidency and address all of that, too. So, when I think of "foi," I think of it as a kind of purification, as a way of remembering, of assimilating all of the pain we have experienced and that we have brought on others in order to utilize it as "information" for our minds and bodies. My fear for this country is that now citizens will want to forget the past and just be "saved" by Obama, and that is dangerous. "foi" is a way of taking that into our own hands, of locating ourselves in this profound crossroads. Recently, I sent out an e-mail about "foi" to a bunch of people here in Chicago and have not had a very big response so far. I am wondering if this is why, if everyone is still high on the change, and they're not ready to think about what is still happening and will be continuing to happen through the New Year as well. I'd love to know how everyone else is handling the preparation for "foi," gathering support, and if you all know anyone in Chicago!
perellithanks for writing here. i completely agree with you about this idea about being "saved," and the possibility that people will use that expectation as a way of diffusing all of this incredible energy that they generated to get obama elected. i feel like this happened during the clinton years, this kind of complacency. and in the meantime, arts funding was decimated, american bombs fell in kosovo, the ridiculous "don't ask don't tell" policy went into effect, and a massacre went by largely uninterrupted in rwanda... i am grateful to you for talking about cleansing, purification. i definitely felt like that happened for me when i did foi in 2001. when it ended, i felt like my body was super light, clean, bright and glowing. i felt like i was just this dynamic mass of molecules in playful, constant and joyous movement, which, one hopes, is exactly the case. i remember sitting shortly afterward and listening to the live music at the new year's party and feeling that time honored truism of "oneness," or rather, matter passing into matter, vibration and object meeting each other in some kind of gracious hum. i know that all of that sounds pretty lofty, but really, it's what i felt. and then next morning after sleeping i felt a tired that was so deep. i was still pretty euphoric but the lightness had transformed into a satisfying heaviness - i could feel the weight of every single part of my body and its accompanying import even as i went just from my bed to the living room. it was good to feel the contrast of this solidity to the previous night's transcendence. this makes me excited to do it again...
Hi Marissa and Miguel,Marissa, I'm in such a different place than you. It was interesting for me to read your comment. Maybe living in Roanoke makes me feel more distant from current events. I share a lot of your feelings regarding Obama's election, but when I wrote down my reasons for doing this work, he didn't even come into it.I am interested in the ambiguity of the work. Am I really showing solidarity with repressed folks by self-blinding and ear plugging myself for a day? I think it really just reveals my privileged background. Which is what makes it interesting. I see these photos in the NY Times and I read the articles and I feel an almost complete numbness. The atrocities are so distant from me. I don't know what the photos and the words mean. I can't make sense of it. I don't imagine that I ever will be able to. So freedom of information gives me a chance to face that hopelessness of solidarity or of understanding with some sort of ironic inversion of self-awareness. As if by tryingthe impossible, I prove to myself it's impossibility . . . and find along the way all the unexpected possibilities. I wonder what it is like to do this piece. I wonder what it is like to commit oneself for 24 hours to an impromptu-feeling work as self-restricting as this one. I also wonder about the senses' relationship to movement. That's a different issue that what I've been writing about though. So I'll put it on the back burner for now.Miguel, I've decided to let your writing speak for the piece rather than mine. I don't have much interest in explaining to folks why I'm doing the work. I just want to do it. I want to indulge in the privilege of being a silent dancer (there we go again - the repressed peoples emerge once more in this narrative - but it's kind of gross that I would compare dancing with being sensor-ally deprived. I know.) But here I am writing on the blog . . . so maybe I'm breaking the dancer's silence . . . but I'm not really a professional dancer for any authoritative choreographer. I'm just doing your project because I'm curious . . . and I want the chance to do something . . . even if it's just for me. I need to do something for me more than anything else. I realize that's cheezily where I think everything starts. You can't save the world if you're a mess yourself. You have to start with you. So by fulfilling my own curious inquiry-driven desires, maybe I can save the world . . . er.I do think the title "freedom of information" is convincing enough to do the work. I just read about information theory today so my thoughts are too swaddled up to articulate anything right now. Hopefully, the articulation will come later.
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