The mind and its interpretations of reality and being are not separate from the flesh but part of it-one perceives the world before any reflection can take place (Diversi &Moreira, Betweener Talk: Decolonizing Knowledge Production, Pedagogy and Praxis, 2009, p 31). That beautiful process of “perceiving” is where my creative and scholarly interest lie as the lead artist and curator of the Firefly Tunnels. My quest in this project is to explore performance art as a second language and platform for community understanding. The desire is to build a performative dialect based on perception that first senses, then observes, then distinguishes - and finally reflects. By creating a community of artists based in Cairo and Pittsburgh who originate from varied and eclectic backgrounds, the collective will work together to build a dialogue based on perceiving that enunciates with space, body and cultural expressions. Our topic of discussion will be around the issues of borders and identity with a common goal for peace. When we use the word "peace" it is important to acknowledge that we don’t use it in "kumbaya" fashion. We are not naïve about human nature and I believe conflict is a necessary and transcendental turning point. However, I also believe the definition of “peace” needs to be metaphysically lingustigated by artists.
THE RESEARCH LANGUAGE: THE FIREFLY TUNNELS
In moving from experience of social life to conceptualization and intellectual history, I follow the path of anthropologists almost everywhere. Although we take theories into the field with us, these become relevant only if and when they illuminate social reality. Moreover, we tend to find very frequently that it is not a theorist’s whole system which so illuminates, but his scattered ideas, his flashes of insight taken out of systematic context and applied to scattered data. Such ideas have a virtue of their own and may generate a new hypothesis. They even show how scattered data maybe systematically connected! (Turnner, Drama, Fields, and Metaphors, 1974, p. 23) These scattered ideas and flashes of insights are what we are hoping to metaphorically capture in a mason jar. These sparks of creative conceptions are what we are going to try to try to tap into- to convey light through our “tunnel of communication”. As we move forward with the project, this site will become more and more layered ...and traveled. Only a certain amount of the work is open to the public- but please be patient. As the work grows...so will the THE GALLERY. I promise it will be well worth the wait. For questions or concerns, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please come back and visit us soon!
- Tavia La Follette