This piece originally began to talk about slavery. The kind where corporations enslave poor civilizations (ie. - the United States' enslavement of people in countries like Indonesia, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Poland from the 60's through the 80's). But the severed foot image (to me) is taking on a different element. I'm considering a different title with other concepts.
'Emancipation - Incarceration'
I've continued to manufacture castings of these feet for a while. It's essentially a symbol having to do with mobilization, immobilization, control, labor. Protestors, laborers, slaves, people running from the cops, the cops, they're all on foot most of the time. I am focusing on how, for a broad segment of the population of the United States, there has been a direct shift from the emancipation of (American) slaves (originally from Africa 1600's to 1860's) to the systematic incarceration of their descendants. Recent events in Ferguson MO, the police brutality riots in the UK (remember how the media was telling you it was just "widespread recreational criminality among the youth" or something like that) and the US, and many other examples bring this to light.
It concerns me that people would make light of Dr. Cornel West's intent to get arrested in Ferguson. I would agree that his reputation as a publicity monger is not completely unfounded. He often uses language in a way that fogs the meaning of what he's attempting to say. But, what is the value of garnering publicity out of an arrest in this way? Isn't it evident that the wrong people are being hauled off to jail? Who should really be getting arrested? Cornel West or Darren Wilson.
Cornel West, Arrested with about 40 other protesters in Ferguson MO
This project is taking on a completely different direction. A previous piece, made a long time ago, called Papir Za Drek, dealt with similar issues. Gangs of people beating up other people because of the fact that they are different etc. The narrative is somewhat buried. But there are many similarities to what is happening currently in the United States with racial profiling and many other things.
I can't help but think that the way we talk about race is no different than the way we talk about breeds of cats, fish or dogs. We think that we're elevating the conversation by saying that "cultural attributes" are part of the race mix. But then it just boils down to your genetic profile and what breed of mutt you are.
It's an illusion I'm quite tired of. As a pale skinned individual, I'm also quite sure that the degree to which I'm tired of it, is not as severe as how sick of it some other people are.
US population by race (2015.08.26)
White - 79.96%
Black - 12.85%
Asian - 4.43%
Amerindian / Alaska Native - .97%
Pacific Islander - .18%
Mixed Race - 1.61%
Hispanic / Latino - 15.1%
US Prison population by race (2015.07.25)
White - 59%
Black - 37.6%
Asian - NA%
Amerindian / Alaska Native - 1.9%
Pacific Islander - NA%
Mixed Race - NA%
Hispanic / Latino - 34%
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wealth and Asset Choices
Poverty and Inequality Report - Stanford Edu
Lots to get into here. Here are some artworks dealing with similar issues.
George Zimmerman: Waiting for Karma
Papir za Drek: Pornogami
Mobius History Transmitter
Under the Bridge
This is a bit of a rambling writing, but perhaps it depicts some idea of how ideas can be messy and can go from one manifestation to the next.
Other works exploring the Police State, Panopticon, NFC tags, creeping on people with technology - here!