I’m really proud of this sculpture-illustrated poetics/aesthetics essay … which is why it’s the opening piece in my vizpo book THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL—a lot of my poetry/art concerns just jelled in my project “Pilipinz Cloudygenous.” I hope you check it out at Verity LA where it’s presented as part of its “Discoursing Diaspora” series. I thank the great thinkers of Verity LA, and was also moved to hear that my work was accepted by the gifted Ramon Loyola before he prematurely passed (Condolences to his family).
Here’s an excerpt from my essay (you can see the whole thing HERE):
“You leave the land of your ancestors and your birth. In the 20th and 21st century, you need not retain that land simply through memory. Starting last century, you can access images of and from that land through the internet. But you don’t feel, when touching your computer screen, the dirt with which you once made mud with a beloved Apong, Grandmother, to create toys of tiny pots and plates. You don’t feel, when touching your computer screen, the sweet scent of Apong’s breath as she bends over your small fingers fumbling to shape a small plate. You don’t feel, when touching your computer screen, her gentle kiss on your brow as she places small pieces of a ripped leaf on your plate as ‘dinengdeng’ or Ilocano vegetable stew… “My project ‘PILIPINZ CLOUDYGENOUS’ interrogates Filipino identity as affected by virtual reality. Part of my interrogation is a series of mobile sculptures. By hanging (from a ceiling), the mobiles float in space — a space that I consider a metaphor for (internet) cloud. The mobile which I present here intends to symbolize the Filipino diaspora. It hangs from a Star of David so as to reference humanity’s oldest diaspora (The Jews of Iraq)...”
Also, in one of the illustrations, you can see one of Jenifer Wofford's images from her brilliant Nurses series--I think it befits the diaspora theme and, indeed, the mobile sculpture hangs in my home next to her work: