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Mel Chin / Keynote (New York May 2018)
What follows are notes from a keynote lecture given by Mel Chin at Open Engagement 2018 in New York.
(My attendance at the conference was made possible thanks to a Professional Development Bursary via A_N and the contents of the following post originally appeared in an A_N blog post.)
- Get ready to be confronted by your own history – your own inadequacy. I don’t think it’s always joyful sometimes it’s extremely painful. Be aware you’re dealing with other human beings and their lives. It’s always changing.
- Our world has been transformed by covert military practices
- In response to (Katrina) disasters: When tragedy at this level occurs the whole world loses… as Artists we have to show solidarity, we have to continue.
- Do not track down disasters to make art. That’s ambulance chasing bullshit
- Research to DESTROY your pre-conceived notions
- ART is a HUMANISING process
- The greatest gift that you can give IS TO GIVE. That’s human ‘BEING’
- It’s not about inspiration it’s about what you are COMPELLED to do… Sometimes ya gotta be artsy-crafty, sometimes disgruntled, sometime you advertise the reality. Don’t do it for the recognition. Put anonymous things in anonymous places.
- DOCUMENTS as MONUMENTS
- Sometimes an ideas comes within 30 seconds
- Use the power of the collective voice, amassed, and take it to the legislators who have the power. Give them the avenues to own the project and take it forward
- You have to roll with the conditions you are given on a daily basis. Failures are sometimes temporary
- I have no prescription, signature or style.
- Art is not about the end-goal but about the catalytic structure…
- You have to be engaged enough to care…
- There is an ecology to the actions you are engaged within…
- Think of project as the ‘blue-print’ for other things…it’s a way of recalibrating…think of it as REALITY THERAPY
- Inuit: ‘I see our way of life, thousands of years old, facing storms we cannot read’
Bio: Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas in 1951. Chin’s art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.