A Work in Progress That Explores Our Collective Experience

Click here to read William Pope.L’s article from the New York Times on his piece, the “I Machine”.

I enjoy that William Pope considers himself ageless. He could have ignored the question completely, but he answered as ageless and it shows that he has a sense of humor. I feel more connected to him as an artist because he put that he is from “a reed basket found floating on the Passaic River flowing through Newark, NJ”. That’s a river that I’ve grown up passing almost every apart the town that I’ve lived in all my life. I enjoy that he can represent our city and create art that may resonate with our people.

His work “I-Machine” contains a projector and a bottle that is releasing a blue liquid. Sitting on the glass of the perri dish are scattered letters that do not spell anything out. On this projector are blue sticky notes. One of the notes reads “ RRRYMAN” but the way that the R’s are written seem symbolize KKK. In his article, he says that this piece represents our ignorance, the people’s ignorance and the government’s ignorance, raising the awareness of the oppression of black lives in America. He also speaks about how Chicago senator Tom Cotton supported the revision of the army. Tom Cotton is an example of the ‘misinformation and ignorance’ in William’s piece.

I did not know what was said in Tom Cotton’s statement beforehand so I had to read it myself. Tom Cotton released this statement during the first week of June 3, claimed that rioters would destroy and setback the livelihoods and cities that have taken long to build, and also take lives. Cotton called politicians in cities of where these riots were occurring ‘delusional’ for not enforcing the Insurrection Act, where the president can employ the military in cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws. He addressed times where this act was in put in place, like when white people rioted against desegregation in the 1962, and during the race riots in 1992. Cotton said that our country is burning due to rioters.

After reading Tom Cotton’s statement, I felt flustered. The point of people rioting during the death of George Floyd wasn’t to incite a fear in danger. They were trying to show the government their anger, to rebel against the institutionalized racism and how cops have gotten away with so many crooked things. We the people have to incite change because the majority of people in office haven’t. Being in 2020, there shouldn’t be people ignorant enough to support the ‘all lives matter/blue lives matter’ when it comes to black lives matter, because black people and african Americans have been oppressed for centuries, and this statement may be repetitive but all lives cannot matter until black lives do! There are so many microcosms in our own communities that are overlooked, that should be fixed, and it can only be changed is through deconstructing the foundation America was built on. I think this work of art should definitely be appreciated more because the country as a whole really needs to see the image from a larger perspective.


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