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"so are you like, an artist or something?"

artist's statement?

social art.

my art is social.  
essential, yet frequently ephemeral.  
it banks on butterfly effects  
and stitching perspectives  
so we feel more connected  
and less alone.

the most treasured artifacts of my social art are found in the heartfelt notes i receive from the people whose lives i've helped along the way. 
because if they've met me, they should feel more interconnected, today, and each new day.  
a bigger reality,  
not just as individual beings with dynamism and agency and verve,  
but as part of a larger whole,  
as communities,  
as biological ecologies 
social and professional networks, 
even dating networks*.
*fun fact: if you match on 5 different apps you get a bingo.

I believe that when we take the time, and put in the effort, we can come to know people. trust people. love people. connect people. and then love them some more for who they get to become in our presence, and in our absence. it's not about us the individual; it's about us the collective.  
we are nothing without our microbiomes, our gut bacteria, our mycelial mycelial mascots helping us learn, live, and love.

did you know our mushroom comrades send up spores which attach to water and make it rain?   
Yes. They make it rain. Next time you see one, thank it for its service.  
Almost all* raindrops that form over a tropical ecosystem contain a mycelial spore at their core.
*(fun fact freshly picked from david attenborough, the green planet, 2022) 
So, there's a unit of connective genetic intelligence at the heart of a raindrop.
So, as we expand our technologies at exponential paces, I want to continue championing people knowing people.  
Not necessarily people's AI assistants knowing their suitors' AI assistants.  
No, I want to keep meeting people in real life, not losing access to the visceral sense of our shared humanity, our shared fates on this stupid, beautiful little orb.

I want hugs.  
I want shared struggs,  
both physically and emotionally.  
both psychically and socially.  
We're all in this shit together,  
Didn't the mycelia teach you anything?

but serioiusly 
what sobers me  
is climate anxiety  
and a divided country  
ruled by oligarchy  
of literal techno-overlord trillion dollar corporations investing heavily in fossil fuels, private prisons, militarized police, and mass-surveillance,  
all while vying for the teat of a geopolitical superpower's annual trillion dollar gift to the military industrial complex.  
and bribing, bullying, or burying any politician in the way. 
for fuck's sake, I just want our technologies 
(made for—or by—this month's AI liege) 
to serve as genuine extensions  
of our own personal and collective agency,  
for the good of the planet and our place in it.  
and not like, displace everything else in it.  
I want respect for all the beings of this earth, please.  
We're better together.


i'm crying as I type this.  
because, firstly, as a digital archivist* I happen to transcribe and hold onto many of the thoughtful, soul-affirming, insightful, and even deeply emotional notes I receive from time to time. I even keep all the physical sticky notes that people have written questions on at my in-person 'hygge' events over the last 7 years ...

And, secondly, as a social nisse*, I happen to receive those notes with some regularity.
Honestly, it's incredibly reality-affirming to read and re-experience so many of the kind words of people whose lives and orbits i've passed through over the years.  
*per Sara: "you discover and inhabit those unseen spaces between people's lives" 

It's such an act of cathartic self-care to read through these notes
they reveal not necessarily who I "am", but at least who i've been for others.
These notes do the work of preserving me.
Sort of like hermit crab horcruxes.
Reflections on ripples I made in their lives, living in shells made of paper and bytes.
Sometimes it's hard to remember which self I was then, or am now.
These little artifacts help me find my north star.  
Especially when i'm lost in an adhd-riddled dystopia of digital distractions.  

I depend on these nice things people messaged me over the years,  
to safeguard my psyche against threats, lies, and fears 
psychological warfare being waged in my ears 
by political parties, multinational corporations,  
grassroots paramilitary operations,  
actual military operations, 
casual capitalists and mass-markets,  
the fact that women's jeans still get made without pockets 
digital advertising that pops up with a full screen  
advertising takeover of my phone when i'm driving

i'm lost but i'm guided  
by Waze app,  
oh snap 
I hope this ad  
don't crash my nav. 
you know how ads get from servers to you? 
someone opens a mod portal and simply clicks through 
"racist", skip
"nazi", skip
"puppies", oh defs approve
"klonopin", sure, why not
"dick pills" send through
"proud boys", oh fuck no oh hell no no nu'uu

Such is the greed of advertisers.
The greed for our attention.
They'll show us ads even when we're divided attention.

This attention economy makes us all a commodity
but for god's sake take a break when my foot's on the brake
of a six thousand pound truck (a tax writeoff for work)
with 2 kids in the back and pedestrians flanked
who I can't even see
when hood's over six feet...

Vehicular warfare and we're the friendly fire.
Psychological warfare and we're the friendly fire.
But when do we get to just be friendly?

I'm drowning in distractions;
if not from screens, 
then from all the screams  
of my inner voices, traumas, and dreams 
that demand I bear witness to our anthropocene.


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