On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers–including artists, critics, writers, and curators–to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Stephanie Zhou, American Cyberculture student at UC Berkeley.
in·eq·ui·ty [in-ek-wi-tee] noun, plural in·eq·ui·ties.
1. lack of equity; unfairness; favoritism or bias.
2. an unfair circumstance or proceeding.
What if we were all just shadows on a wall? Everybody is uniform. Everybody is just slightly defined, black massless creatures lurking in every corner and on every wall. Nothing hurts when we’re stuck on a wall. Life may not be particularly exciting, but it could be good, dancing around our light source. We would not feel the wrenching, soul-numbing pain that accompanies whenever someone mocks and ridicules us. Nothing in particular would make us stand out to others to be criticized, except for maybe our size. But even that can be manipulated by moving closer or further away from the light.
We would all be blobs, drifting past each other. We would be ghosts to ourselves and to everyone else, no substance to give flesh out our hopes and dreams and imperfections. No ability to touch the people we love the most, to shower them with all the affection they deserve. No ability to feel the pouring rain on our skin, mingling with our tears and washing them away. No ability to reach out our arms to touch the sun, stuck to the wall as we are. In fact, the sun itself would burn our presence away.
No mass, no thoughts, no future. Because why would ghosts on the wall need anything as significant, as wonderful as the future?
It’s definitely better that we are not just shadows on a wall.