Aloha from Hawaii!
I’ll begin with a few photos from a trip to the Big Island at the beginning of the month, which is both the youngest and largest Hawaiian island.
waves breaking where a river meets the ocean
rough lava rock coastline outside the house I was staying at
a canopy of Albizia trees (so beautiful! but the park ranger told me these brittle 4-story trees are actually really hazardous-- they grow extremely rapidly and come crashing down just as easily)
Kilauea, crater and live volcano
I was thinking I wouldn’t post here on TMATM until I decided where I was going to go with this project, but since I still don’t know, I’m posting anyway. It has been a confusing transition back to life in the States, and I feel like bits of me are scattered around the world. The grant is done and I finished all the documentation and shared my work at a conference, but even though I’m done traveling, it doesn’t feel like its over. I am investigating to see if its feasible to self-publish The Medium and the Mayhem as a book. Of course, by the time the book is made, everyone mentioned in it will have moved on to new projects! I guess I’ll have to travel the world again..
Inspired by other Fellows who put their travels into numbers, I was curious to do the same. In all, I traveled to 14 countries. My major transportation (i.e. city-to-city, country-to-country, but not counting transportation within cities) included 38 flights, 18 bus rides, 7 car trips, 4 train rides, and two boats. I traveled approximately 87,433 miles or 140,710 km! The last leg alone (Barcelona –> Cellsbutton Festival in Indonesia –> Watson Fellowship Conference –> Hawaii) was over 25,000 miles (and was really exhausting)!
Many kind friends and relatives around the world let me stay in 38 houses or apartments, and I stayed in 19 establishments that represented a wide range of hotels, hostels, dorms, guesthouses, and ashrams. I also note that I benefitted from the hard work of at least 12 domestic helpers; I had no idea it was so common in certain places. (I recommend this article about domestic labor that recently appeared in the Economist.)
The art events were a bit more difficult to count up, since they were so varied. I participated in 17 festivals, residencies or several-week workshops, 6 short (1-3 day) workshops outside of festival programming, attended 10 performances or openings, set up 9 talks or meet-and-greets with artists or organizations, went shopping for components in the electronics districts of 7 cities, taught electronics 5 times, played in 4 concerts, and participated in 2 recording projects.
I can’t even begin to express my overwhelming gratitude for those of you who gave me a place to stay, cooked me delicious food, introduced me to your family and friends, acted as informal tour guides in places completely new to me, and tolerated me butchering your language. I have so many wonderful memories. I hope that someday when I actually live in one place I can return the favor! There are so many people who I am confident that I will see again, and when we do, I’m sure we will be friends just as much as the day we parted.
Here are a few updates from people who’ve been mentioned on TMATM in the past.
A video reel of Intersessoes, the experimental music series I participated in when I was in Brazil.
Good to see the kids in South America are still improvising and building circuits! :
Amaaaazing real-time face substitution app that Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald are working on
Senseless Drawing Bot, which was in progress when I met Takahiro in Barcelona, in action
Documentation of Hojun Song’s talk at Carnival of e-Creativity in Northern India. Jump on it if you have the chance to see him speak about his work in person!
And a video sent to me by Sergi, a talented animator I stayed with in Barcelona :
On that note, Merry Christmas (or Mele Kalikimaka in Hawaiian), Happy Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/ Eid/ Rohatsu /New Year /(whatever else I missed) !
And lastly, thanks for reading the Medium and the Mayhem! It means a lot to me. I’m taking a break right now, but any future decisions/updates/projects will be posted here…