Misconstructions
2022, a series of eight single channel videos made in collaboration with Baco Ohama as part of Yume.Digital Dreams, curated by Matt Miwa and Julie Tamiko Manning

Fourteen artists were selected from the Japanese Canadian Artist Directory and paired up into seven collaborative duos. Starting in early 2022, Calgary-based poet and visual artist Baco Ohama and I began a vigorous back-and-forth exchange of emails, Zoom conversations, drawings, videos, sound recordings and mail artworks. As geography prevented us from meeting face to face, our interactions were always filtered through one communication technology or another.

Thinking about the cumbersome nature of long-distance collaboration, we devised a project that exacerbated the difficulties and heightened the chance of misunderstandings. Over a four week period we sent one another audio-only instructions to make origami forms. Of course, visual instructions would have been far more practical, but we were interested in the slippage between "what was intended" and "what was understood."

We gave ourselves some working guidelines:

-When recording our origami instructions we had to make a sincere attempt to clearly and accurately describe the steps.

-We could not tell each other what the intended form was meant to be.

-When following a set of instructions, we had to make a real attempt to understand and carry out the directives. And it had to be done in one try with no pausing or re-listening to the audio recording.

Misconstructions refers to the act of misconstruing words, as well as to the physical product of those misunderstandings; the faulty origami constructions.

Eight videos below document these attempts and the resulting forms, all unexpected "happy accidents" that are, in my opinion, vast improvements on whatever the intended forms might have been.

 

 

Yume. Digital Dreams participating artists: taiko/interdisciplinary artist, Linda Hoffman (Vancouver); poet and visual artist, Baco Ohama (Calgary); performer and opera singer, Teiya Kasahara (Toronto); visual artist, Will Shintani (Toronto); theatre artist, Dawn Obokata (Toronto); filmmaker, Michael Fukushima (Quebec); experimental dancer Shion Skye Carter (Vancouver); electronic musician and flautist Hitoshi Sugiyama (Edmonton); photographer Kayla Isomura (Vancouver); visual artist; Lillian Michiko Blakey (Newmarket, ON); visual artist, Miya Turnbull (Halifax, NS); multi-disciplinary artist Jon Sasaki (Toronto); dance/theatre artist, Kunji Ikeda (Calgary); taiko musician, Noriko Kim Kobayashi (Vancouver).