I find myself in the remarkable position of being a ZERO1 Fellow, engaged in the challenge of bringing underlying ideas from previous work to the foreground to shape a project that enables connections between disparate places and circumstances. The underlying force is empathy; that curious ability to project ourselves into the experiences of others. To paraphrase Susan Sontag in Regarding the pain of others, place ourselves on the map of another’s suffering, bypassing sympathy, and imagine their suffering as our own.[Susan Sontag. Regarding the pain of others (Picador, 2004),103.]
These ideas have been the undercurrent of work I’ve done since 2004, work that attempted to make, even hypothetical bridges between disparate places to imagine circumstances and events that take place in one location, in relation to (an untouched and unrelated) other. Now, here with this fellowship, and it’s affiliation with Google and their world of inventions and products, my challenge is to give form and life to these ideas, envisioning a way to facilitate such connections and offer such experiences in some combination of physical and virtual space.