HERE AND THERE

Here and There is a video art piece that draws out the tensions that exist between the promises of representation and our current political climate. This video art piece is created using screen captures of Google Earth to explore different bodies of water and land throughout the middle east, ending in the Los Angeles river. I have captured a primitive performance of swimming on a green screen floor and overlaid it over video clips on multiple settings on Google Earth. Google has become central to our day-to-day lives from using it to gather information or viewing the digital maps that  represent the world through satellites.

 

The piece displays a woman performing the act of swimming which is generally thought to be a graceful action, but she struggles and conveys an awkward discomfort. With this struggle highlighted and repeated all throughout the piece it removes the beauty and the exoticized discourse that Western societies project on the hijab. I argue that the hijab sexualizes the woman's body when worn in Western societies, which leads them to be viewed as different, therefore a target for many. Not only does the hijab make women who wear vulnerable to hate crimes, but it also incites a form of displacement. This displacement is reflected all throughout the piece with the performer repeating their act as well as continually being overlaid on different settings. Through this work I reflect on the google as a social device to represent the mass information of our current digital lifestyle and that has a resemblance to the vast emptiness of open water.

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