November Process Blog

A few notes on my process…

I was really struggling with how to manage/store/categorize/track/organize such a huge number of invisible things… Although the “things” don’t take any physical space, they did take up a great deal of mental space – and clearly more than any one human could hold in one’s head.

So I decided to create an inventory of what I had so far, and to start entering the ideas/words for the invisible things into a spreadsheet program . This would allow me to efficiently track the quantity, alphabetize & eliminate any duplicates of the invisible things in my collection. (I used Google docs so that I could add to the list from wherever I was – in case ideas came to me at work, I could quickly log in and add the items to the list online rather than into a database that lived only on my computer).

I then transferred each word or idea collected onto an index card and put it into a little black file box specifically devoted to the collection of 1,000 invisible things.

So far, I have a little over 800 items in the collection.

It was interesting to me to discover that although I was really excited about getting the 1,000 index cards and a nice black box in the mail for organizing my items, I felt incredibly ambivalent about copying out the individual words onto the index cards… I realized, that part of the problem was that I didn’t feel connected to the words I was writing onto the cards and putting in the box, because many of the words I had in my spreadsheet had been sourced from online lists of “abstract nouns” rather than from my own thoughts, conversations and discoveries.

Hence, I have only copied out the words up to the letter “I” – so probably only about one third of what I have on my list so far…

Here are a few photographs…

A few thoughts…

I’ve looked at a number of different ways of amassing and categorizing these items, and have found it both fascinating and challenging to come up with a system that also aligns with what I most desire to discover by swimming in this world of the unseen – which is to take a deep dive into the sea of ideas about invisibility – specifically around issues of feeling invisible at times and wishing to be invisible at other times. This interests me primarily because that was my experience growing up and continues still today – there were times when I felt completely unseen, unprotected, and as if I didn’t count for anything, and other times when I wished I could be invisible in order to escape the sexual advances of my step-father and other men in my surroundings.

Initially this grew out of a curiosity about what the similarities and differences would be between my personal experiences and the experiences of people from different parts of the world and in different circumstances. Isn’t it possible that a South American illegal immigrant might want to be utterly invisible as he or she crosses the boarder between the US and Mexico, but might not want to be invisible when the Capo is looking for people to hire for the day. Isn’t it likely that my own black nephew would want to be seen and recognized for his achievements, kindness, and integrity, yet be afraid of being hassled or even killed by police if he was pulled over on his way home?

I wanted to see how far out these similarities and differences would extend beyond the personal and into broader social and political realms.

Now, with the terrifying election results in the US, coupled with the unbridled hate that is making itself known here and around the world in a big way,  I am sure that any person of color might not want to stand out and be seen by those filled with venom, bigotry and hate, yet he might want to stand up and be heard and seen, while also being respected and protected.

What is happening right now in the United States has narrowed down what could have been a wide range of entry points, to just a few correlating elements that I want to examine further.

One of the main reasons I chose this topic was so that I could keep diving in to these deep waters of the unseen, in order to explore other regions… Who knows where it will all lead…

 

 

 

 

 

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