Remapping (a brief interaction) (2014)

On separate screens, two dried sea sponges appear in an empty environment. On the left, water is very slowly poured. As the water rises, the sponge gently expands and sways as it absorbs that water, flourishing as it becomes immersed under its natural setting. On the right, cement is poured, rising quickly. The sponge remains motionless as the cement sets, pointing to the over-construction that is found on many islands. As the water level rises and the cement sets, the sponge in the so-called natural environment and the artificial environment appear the same.

In Remapping (a brief interaction), I use the metaphor of the sea sponge as the Caribbean, a symbol for individual islands dotting the sea, for the beauty of the land and its surroundings. However, this is in itself contested symbolism. A century of tourism marketing means that what has come to represent the region has been developed over time and through careful consideration and awareness of the changing desires and trends of the consumers. Items or images of items that operate on the symbolic level - conch shells, coconut and palm trees, sand, the sea, sand dollars - are constructs. While they do all exist in the region, they have been cultivated metaphorically and some times literally (sea sponges can be grown like a crop) to become overloaded references.

Hence in much the same that the islands become built up with concrete, the imaginary of the islands is built up as a negotiated fabrication. 

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