For some time since the event of a car careening into and crushing my body, I have had a special affinity for traffic cones. As distraction from my fearful perception of cars as speeding bullets, I play “spot the cone” as we pass by. I feel somehow at peace in the company of my pointy orange friends. I begin to distinguish one from another; they develop characters, each with its own traits, state of newness or of decay. I began to collect them. For my birthday I was gifted several old souls, and for Easter a shiny new virgin, plucked up mid-highway and spared from certain demise. My cones and traffic barrels were abandoned to rot in a median, tossed asunder in a tar field, or dragged under a truck on an interstate. Each has its own story told in exhaust grime and battle scars. And yet they stand still at attention, holding vigil, bare to the world, to both signal and witness the presence of vehicular danger.
Tunnel Bridge, above, is an outgrowth of the Bare Witness project. I set and approach different kinds of boundaries and border crossings. As we speed by and through space and each other, boundaries get clipped or even crushed. I find I am often standing at a choice between going “into myself” or expressing “outwardly.” I see a benefit to both. We need introspection and self-inquiry. We need quiet reflection. We also need to push back with anger, indignation, and resolve.
Tunnel Bridge explores subjecthood and sovereignty as metaphor and portal. Boundaries we erect are too easily broken, ruptured, or violated. We are all on the edge. We are each in the borderlands of being somewhere and somewhere-else, on the edge of being someone and someone-else. We are the maps that demark sovereign territory; we are the border guard who patrols comings and goings. We are the fear of the other and we are each, at times, the other.