About Change Encounters
“To speculate” derives from the Latin speculat-, meaning “observed
from a vantage point.” Responding to the Vera List Center for Art
and Politics’ 2009-10 theme, Speculating on Change, Change Encounters
offers multiple complementary and conflicting vantage points on the
nature and process of change. Change is an encounter with difference
that requires opening oneself to the unknown. Similarly, to engage
with this project is to enter a relationship with the unpredictable.
The website is designed to access an archive through a random number generator based on the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching, the classic Chinese book of wisdom, which is considered both an oracle and a philosophy. The archive parallels this predictive system that is ever changing, where meaning is mutable and constructed by the viewer/user. The 64 web pages collect an assortment of cultural and historical predictive devices, appropriations from popular culture, historical sources, academic scholarship, and personal interviews with people occupying diverse professional positions.
Judith Butler describes Michel Foucault’s understanding of self-transformation as “prompted by a form of knowledge that is foreign to one’s own.” In this spirit, we bring together and against one another, knowledges and practices that form a prism, casting different angles of light upon the state of our economy, psychic life, and physical surroundings. With Obama’s slogan receding yet still resonating into the second year of his Administration, we wonder what kinds of change we can still believe in, who or what might be called upon as agents for change, and what the ramifications of change are for whom. These inquiries contemplate the conditions for constructive future thinking within a climate of economic, environmental, and psychological instability, and set the stage for how we might anticipate today what is at stake tomorrow.
About Lin + Lam
Inspired by a particular site,
historical incident, or political issue, Lin + Lam (Lana Lin and H.
Lan Thao Lam) collect research in the form of interviews, archival
materials, and found objects. Their collaboration brings together their
backgrounds in architecture, photography, sculpture, installation and
time-based media. Their work has been exhibited at international venues
including the Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, The Kitchen, and the
Queens Museum, New York, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco,
Arko Arts Center (Korean Arts Council,) Seoul, the Oberhausen Short
Film Festival, Germany, and the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China. Their
work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Jerome
Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the New York State Council
on the Arts, among others.
Lin received her MFA from Bard College.
She is currently faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Jacob
K. Javits Fellow in the Media, Culture, and Communication doctoral
program at NYU. Lam received her MFA from CalArts, and is faculty at
Goddard College, MFA-IA program.
Lin + Lam are 2009
-10 Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellows.
Project concept and research: Lin
+ Lam, with the support of The
Vera List Center for Art and Politics.
Web design: Wei Chao
The artists wish to thank all the participants, and Alison
Cornyn, Carin Kuoni, Lize Mogel, Annie Shaw, Aleksandra Wagner
for their valuable insights and collaboration.