Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Interaction ... or inaction?

The Red Earth organizers chose this little wooden house (part of the set of the Merchant Ivory movie: 'Mystic Masseur") as the Red Earth exhibition space.
I packaged Greetings on Behalf of Our Environment very simply and tacked them up on a wall in the verandah of the house.

If a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it, has the tree fallen?

If a piece is interactive and no-one interacts, is the piece interactive?

Unfortunately there will be no messages on behalf of our Environment going to the Minister, as no-one purchased any of the cards. Admittedly I was somewhat disappointed at first, as it would have been great to see people's heartfelt messages going out ... but as one who has been doing interactive work for years, I have come to understand and accept that people are not always into interacting. Many are generally more willing to watch than to 'do' or take part in an activity that they may not necessarily understand or see the point of.

Even though what I do may seem like 'fun' and is presented so simply, I take it seriously. I believe in what I do or I wouldn't do it.

I kept hearing "Great idea!" ... but as I kept saying in response: "Thanks, but it's not about an idea. It's something that must be done in order to work." Without the action, it remains a series of images, which on their own, do not really 'do' anything but fill a space.

People had said they would buy cards and send messages, but then again, one can't depend on words. Many things (intentional or unintentional, avoidable or unavoidable, internal or external, expected or unexpected) come in the way of words. What is said and what is intended as the final action don't always connect.

Sadly, there is a general apathy among Trinidadians, especially in light of wanting the much-desired, much-needed 'change': their feeling that it doesn't make sense to do anything because nothing will happen and no-one will listen, so why waste energy trying. The feeling of waiting for someone else to do it. In this case, maybe even the feeling of "Why should I spend my $20 to send a card to the Minister?" The feeling of "The Minister can't and won't do anything anyway, so why bother?" So many feelings, so many words and no action.

Are people afraid?

Do they not believe?

Have they nothing to say?

No, they have lots to say. Lots to complain about to each other when chatting in groups, lots to discuss in 'online forums', lots to scream about on radio talk shows.

At the same time, don't get me wrong. I do acknowledge that there are people who have good minds and hearts and intentions, who do do things for change and betterment and who never give up despite apathy and adversity ... and I also acknowledge that there are so many 'causes' out there across the entire globe and not everyone can feel the same way about each one or have the time, money or energy to give to every singe one that comes along requesting support.

I will think of something else to do with the cards. Or if any of you have ideas, feel free to share.



rohit said...


you are fantastic!!!

god bless u dear

can we exchange our link

r u ready to do?

K.C. said...

We are such a long way from one another, as I am in Mississippi in the States. Yet, I am feeling your frustration from here with this post.

I don't want to sound simplistic, but what you are doing will cause changes. You have to know that. You have to know that if you keep doing what you are doing, it will catch on. People will hear you. One person does make a difference. Your passion will make a "world" of change.

Thank you for sharing that author with me. I spent over two hours researching her last night. Was completely inspired... KC

K.C. said...

OK, so if you think you were laughing READING my post on my blog, you would have been rolling in the floor listening to me trying to sing all day today.. I was completely AWFUL...and no, I just didn't care! I really felt better for it...! :) KC