VAC Art Installation: Baik Art Residency

I attended the Baik Art Residency. The theme the artists were given was borders and they were tasked with re-interpreting the way we look at borders and presenting us with their personal interpretations of these. I’ve been sitting with this for a while as borders can mean a lot of different things for different people and it provoked me to think about what borders are to me. Beyond the usual sense of borders we think of, the physical ones between countries or entities, the artists spoke of borders that are emotional, what happens at them, and their histories. I really enjoyed being able to hear about the immense difference borders can make in our lives and also the way that often we lose ourselves when it comes to borders. For example, Yong Soon Min talked about the way that when we cross borders we give ourselves up to searches, poking and prodding, and all-around invasive procedures. We become part of the masses, simply a numbered individual. We let someone we do not know go through our personal effects all in an attempt to get from one place to another. Even though this is something that in almost any other setting, we would never let happen, we do it frequently and often without question. It interests me to see how similar borders don’t have this same level of invasive procedures. The border to get into the United States is extremely tight and assesses you on more than what they can tangibly tough. They analyze a document that is supposed to validate that you are human. They take in assumptions about you based on what country your passport says, your skin color, where you are coming from and so much more.

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