Collective Journaling and Curatorial Round Tables — Session 1
This project is designed to create a curatorial round table and collectively journal to get to know each other and ourselves. Every week one participant will ask their questions to delve into each other’s thoughts and create a form of conversation that we all listen to instead of forcing someone to accept/understand our perception.
This week’s questions are asked by Zeren Oruc.
1. What is the relation of land and water to you when it comes to private vs. public space? Often we think about solid and countable materials being private or public, where does sea/ocean stand when it comes to belonging, and how this changes the way we treat them?
There is no difference for me in respecting private or public space. Both are equally important and both should be equally respected and treated with care.
For me, all water is public and always. Groundwater, surface water (lakes, rivers, springs) and sea. I was born into the country that has 100 000 lakes and none of them are private, so that is how I am used to, grown to believe, that free and clean water is everyman’s right. Sea is a bit more complicated as it usually is between more than 2 countries that each have a different kind of laws. The freedom to roam and everyman’s right also applies most of the land in Finland when it comes to forests and non-cultivated land that is used in agricultural means and lands around the houses. Finland’s population density is pretty low compared to many other countries, so there are lots of free forests to roam. In my opinion, this should be everywhere, as much as possible of land are also public and not used in economical means. When something is public, it is also under laws that protect it from overuse, pollution, and destruction.
Living on the shore of Maryland makes me close to many beaches both public and private. There are also many public parks and trails around me as well as private forests. Before the pandemic I was able to hike on a local state park trail daily and visit a county park beach every week. All beaches and parks were closed in the state and county for over a month to avoid the spread of The Coronavirus. Despite these places being public you would now be given a large fine for trespassing even if you wanted to walk through the woods alone. The state parks and beaches opened back up over a month before the county parks and beaches. It was just this past week that the local county beach I visit opened back up to the public. All of this really makes me appreciate having these public spaces to enjoy. I personally treat public spaces as well as my own back yard but I am aware that’s others do not respect public land. I hope that having these spaces taken away for a few months might make people appreciate them more.
For me, the ocean is for everyone. I dreamt recently that I was walking on the seaside with my mother admiring the beauty of the sand, the water, the rocks…and abruptly our walk was interrupted by a large white wall that forged itself between us and the stretch of beach that awaited us. The wall dived into the water, clearly dividing the territory into “private” space for whomever lived beyond that wall. This action deeply angered me.
The dream reminded me of many situations I had encountered around the world, and the painful, yet heavily ingrained, construct of “property”, as something which excludes people from access to the earth’s most precious nature. We require private space for the intimate parts of our daily lives.
But for me, nature belongs to everyone.
Water is living. It is more alive than the soil, the ground, the stones. Stones have spirit, they are ancient, immovable. But water is like one big organism that reaches everywhere. You can not own the water, water is wild and free. (Intuitional flow of thoughts.)
2. If you were able to be an expert at one thing (or have all the knowledge in the world) what would that be? This could be pure knowledge, a skill, or understanding someone/something, please don’t narrow it down to work/profession.
The first thing that comes to my mind is to understand all the people. This would make me less stressed and angry about the world. Understanding extreme behaviors and what deficits in human beings’ minds lead to them would make me (maybe) forgive them.
Music, all in all; composing, playing, singing, etc.
If I were to be an expert in one thing I would choose Theoretical Physics. I read a lot of books on the future of physics and it would be great to contribute to that field.
This is a difficult question. I once read a book called “Mastery” by Robert Green, which discusses in depth the art of becoming a master. It references a number of people such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Mozart, who dedicated their life to a unique calling. There is power in becoming an expert — to have a deep knowledge or passion for something specific, and to master it. Masters are essential for the development of humanity. Yet when I think about it, and look at myself and who I am, I see that becoming an expert at something would mean that I would have to sacrifice other aspects of my life that may be equally important. I could spend the whole day drawing and reading, and drawing what I read, and dreaming, and drawing what I dream. And still I would like to improve my drawings, and then also yoga, dance, horticulture, design, etc. There are many things I would love to learn in this life. To comfort myself in knowing that I may never become a master, I must move to my heart. The heart that loves gives, and receives, and in this cycle we grow and share. Maybe we can not all become masters, but some of us are good enough to teach, to write about, to show through care what we do and what we love. Maybe we are distributors, rather than masters, and maybe that is enough (for now).
I would like to know how to stop the greediness of mankind.
3. Are you comfortable with using social media both from a professional and personal perspective? Does this correlate with your “real life” interactions with people or your personality?
From a professional perspective, I am comfortable with using social media to promote, inform, spread the word, etc. But it is more complicated when using it from a personal perspective and for sure it doesn’t correlate with my real life. I would not be comfortable sharing all my personal life and then when I select which one(s) I share, I will most likely give a wrong image of me.
I am not a huge fan of social media platforms like Facebook but I do enjoy photo sharing on Instagram for professional purposes. At times I wish I was better at Instagram to gain more followers of my artwork. On the other hand I don’t enjoy posting artwork hoping to get hundreds of “likes” in order to feel good about the work.
I have never been comfortable with social media, yet as time goes on I am learning to connect with it, and let go of the fears I have surrounding it. I used to have a strong fear of posting, and it took me ages to get an instagram account for my art. I would hum and haw about what to post and worry about every detail, thinking it’s just not good enough to publish. What if I say something stupid, or worse, what if I accidentally offend someone? In the end, it’s simply impossible to please everyone, and there will always be judgers. The older I get the more I grow into myself, and accept myself and others for who we are. And who we are in every moment, does not define who we are forever. Everything is ephemeral, and at the sametime, there is so much information. The truth is there is not a lot of time to spend judging so why should we waste time doing so? It’s more important to put your heart into each one of your actions, even if it’s something as simple as sharing your work.
I think my real life interactions don’t have much to do with my social media. Life socially involves friends, family, loved ones — and social media involves reaching a greater audience. It’s a way to branch out. I try not to think about it much, but just use it as a good motivator to connect once in a while.
I have been quite comfortable with it, but lately, it has begun more and more challenging for me. You can not sense the atmosphere when using social media and that kind of interaction is completely missing out when using it. I’m not a writer, so that means that I can not express myself truly out when trying to communicate through social media.
Ada Zielińska asked the following questions for the second session:
1. Thinking about all things happening in the world since the beginning of 2020, what comes to your mind when you think of the most catastrophic scenario for the rest of the year?
2. What is the last dream you remember very clearly?
3. If there was a second COVID-19 wave during your residency at Montemero would you rather stay there, or do anything you can to go back home?”
This session is edited by Hatice Gülseroğlu, in order to retain the “real round table” format and allow participants to be surprised by answers.
Do you want to answer these questions? Leave a comment below!