Tôi đã thấy ( I Have Seen)
Incorporating video shot on boat rides through the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Tôi đã thấy (I Have Seen) explores the confluence of identity, war, environmental justice, and global water issues through a poetic travelogue documenting the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam War and artist sTo Len's first trip to his motherland. Text in the form of subtitles playfully stitch together an assemblage of material that includes snippets of popular Vietnamese American show, Paris By Night, and live action sequences from a Buddhist themed amusement park. The artist's own soundtrack mixes field recordings and a famous Vietnamese war song, with samples of television and the recording of a live improvised score.
Going to the Edge : A Water Walk
“The Newtown Creek is a special place to me and I wanted to take you all along on a video walk since we cannot do one in person. I think that we can learn a lot from the water that surrounds us, especially at a time when the pandemic has created such suffering and uncertainty, when our scheduled lives are so ephemeral and put on hold, when we must remain so still in our solitude. The water is there, its constantly moving and shaping the land. The water’s edge is blurring our hard edges. I go to the water for guidance. It shows us how to ebb and flow, a liquid GPS to better navigate the world as fluid dreamers, dancers, and survivors. It can teach us how to re-emerge into the world with one another as well. As public space has become completely transformed by the coronavirus, rediscovering the outdoors outside the box provides new opportunities for us to engage with the water and one another. Its time to reclaim new public commons beyond the ones predetermined by our patterned behavior. Its time to rediscover our waterfronts and find new ways to access our edges.”
- sTo Len, May 22, 2020
As part of Walking The Edge, a collaboration between arts organizations Culture Push and Works on Water with the NYC Department of City Planning. The project is funded by the Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. WTE is a key outreach component of the next Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and kicks off Works on Water’s 2020 Triennial Art Exhibition dedicated to art that is made on, in, and with the water.
Le chant du Styrène ("the song of the styrene") is a 13 minutes long French documentary film from 1958 directed by Alain Resnais. The film was an order by French industrial group Pechiney to highlight the merits of plastics. The commentary, narrated by Pierre Dux, is a poem written by Raymond Queneau, all in alexandrines, whose title is a pun from styrene's phonetic resemblance to sirens.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2018
US Helicopter spraying agent orange on fields in Vietnam
Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico
Petroglyphs, New Mexico
Book by James Hampton