For even if it is not possible literally to step outside the world or existing reality, the capacity to imagine other possible worlds creates a terrain where it becomes possible to work towards the creation of another world (Shukaitis 2009:99*).
TERRITORY OF POSSIBILITY is a drawing installation that takes inspiration from the fake travel pamphlet, “Visit Port Watson!” written by Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson*. The pamphlet describes the imaginary Pacific island of Sonsorol, a modern-day utopia. With a population of barely 2000 people, Sonsorol boasts no formal currency, no army, and no police force. Land in Sonsorol is “owned” only when it is occupied and in use. Sonsorol is, however, an imaginary place.
Shortly after writing the pamphlet, author Wilson began receiving enquiries about actually visiting the utopian destination. He responded by saying, “Port Watson is that place where one is in the moment when one actually is when you believe Port Watson could exist: a mobile territory of possibility rather than a fixed location” (Shukaitis 2009:100).
I am interested in this idea of locating utopia within the space of imagination, rather than in a physical place. The space of imagination opens radically vast territories of possibility. The space of imagination allows for multiple, simultaneous “utopianisms**”.
TERRITORY OF POSSIBILITY will feature in-situ wall drawing, found/re-purposed objects, and sound and animation components. It will be a minimal but immersive experience for the viewer. The components of the installation will operate as subtle meditations on the idea of conjuring one’s own mobile utopia.
* Shukaitis, Stevphen. “Space is the (non)place: Martians, Marxists, and the Outer Space of Radical Imagination,” The Sociological Review. Vol. 57, Issue Supplement S1, 2009.
** In The Principle of Hope, Vol. 1 (1954) Marxist philosopher, Ernst Bloch describes utopias as pointless and misleading, but contends that utopianism is a universal human characteristic without which we cannot live. As cited by Ashcroft, Bill. “The Ambiguous Necessity of Utopia: Post-Colonial Literatures and the Persistence of Hope,” Social Alternatives Vol. 28, No. 3, 2009.
The Ambiguous Necessity of Utopia: Post-Colonial Literatures and the Persistence of Hope
In: Social Alternatives Vol. 28, No. 3, 2009
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Bloch, Ernst. The Principle of Hope, Vol. 1, MIT Press, Cambridge MA/London, Reprint 1995.
FELD, STEVEN. ‘Waterfalls of Song: An Acoustemology of Place Resounding in Bosari, Papua New Guinea.’ In Sense of Place. Feld, Steven + Basso, Keith H. eds. pp 91-136. 1996.
GAYLARD, GERALD. After Colonialism: African Postmodernism and Magical Realism. Wits University Press. Johannesburg. 2005.
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KOYUNCU, EMRE. Mimesis and Sociality: A Reading of the Question of Literature in Deleuze and Derrida. Thesis submitted to the Department of Communication and Design and the Institute of Economics and Social Sciences of Bilkent University. 2008.
NANCY, JEAN-LUC. The Technique of the Present. Translated by Alisa Hartz. Lecture given in January 1997 at the Nouveau Musée during the exposition of On Kawara’s works, “Whole and Parts – 1964-1995”. The text was read in the exhibition halls, and the speaker moved his way through it, along with the audience. Parts 1 and 2 were read in the gallery consecrated to “One Million Years“, part 3 in the gallery containing “July 21, 1969“, part 4 in that containing “Title, 1965” (the Viet-Nam triptych) and “Location painting” (Lat. 31*25’N/Long 8*41*E), 5 and 6 in that containing “30 Years Date Painting 1966-1995″.
SCHMIDT, PETER R. Historical Archaeology in Africa: Representation, Social Memory and Oral Traditions. AltaMira Press. 2006
SHUKAITIS, STEVPHEN. “Space is the (non)place: Martians, Marxists, and the Outer Space of Radical Imagination,” IN The Sociological Review. Vol. 57, Issue Supplement S1, 2009.
TUAN, YI-FU. “Thought and Landscape: The Eye and the Mind’s Eye,” in D.W. Meinig, ed., The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, 89-102.
BECOLO, JEAN-PIERRE. Unpublished notes for Keynote Address. African Futures Conference. Goethe Institute. Johannesburg South Africa. 2015