Participating poets: Rick Barot, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Meg Castaldo, Farnoosh Fathi, Ramón Garcia, Sean Hill, Amanda Galvan Huynh, Kirun Kapur, Ed Pavlic, Evie Shockley, James Thorpe and Monica Youn
In This is My Land, Eng explores what it is to be American through multiple poetic perspectives. The American flag is cut into pieces and framed. Like cubism, the plane is broken up into a quantum lens whereby what is solid and whole is a collapse of fragments of different narratives. She selected twelve renowned American poets of diverse backgrounds to collaborate on this project. Symbols taken from their poems are painted and embroidered on the flags with conductive paint and thread. The viewer’s touch on the electronic painting triggers the recitation of a poem to commence. Eng describes cultural identity as rhizomatic. ‘We come together like fibrous threads experiencing a similar space, time, smell, sound, rhythm. While stems intertwine and strengthen, others thin out and break off. We unconsciously twist around one another reinforcing what we thought was just attributed to one, but belongs to all of us.’ We sense the wheat fields, the cicadas chirping in humid nights, the hum of metropolitan traffic, the struggle for belonging, a relief in the familiar that we share as Americans.
These two aforementioned projects were made possible with the sponsorship from Picture Woods LTD, Green Girl Recycling, Sparkfun Electronics and assistance of the BTU lab, Atlas CU Boulder. Special thanks to Noah Anast, Tanya Eng, Arielle Hein, Bridget Johnson, Jessica Koolman Parker, Leo Latousek, Frank Lucero, Cicada Scott, Michael Theodore, James Thorpe and all the participating poets: Rick Barot, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Meg Castaldo, Farnoosh Fathi, Ramón Garcia, Sean Hill, Amanda Galvan Huynh, Kirun Kapur, Ed Pavlic, Evie Shockley, James Thorpe and Monica Youn.