“The Wayfinding Project,” an evolving installation that questions the representation of indigenous cultures in New York City’s pre-colonial history and its future, will be showcased at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute from March 25 through December 21, 2016.
“The Wayfinding Project,” an evolving installation that questions the representation of indigenous cultures in New York City’s pre-colonial history and its future, will be showcased at NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute from March 25 through December 21, 2016.
“The Wayfinding Project” launches with an inaugural ceremony on Thurs., March 24, 6-8 p.m. 8 Washington Mews (below 8th Street, between University Place and Fifth Avenue). The evening will include performances and remarks from Indigenous artists and scholars, project director Jack Tchen, a professor at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and interdisciplinary artist Beatrice Glow.
The installation aims to promote curiosity, research, and “decolonize” New York’s history by exploring and documenting the deep knowledge of the Lenape, the original people of “Mannahatta” who cultivated the vital ecosystem of the region along what is now Broadway, and the equally complex Polynesian understanding of the “sea of islands” of the Pacific.
Initiated by Tchen and NYU’s A/P/A Institute, in collaboration with artist Glow, the installation brings to life a Manhattan unfamiliar to today’s New Yorkers—one that is brimming with a diverse and dense geo-culture of land and waters.
Each of the objects, paintings, and prints on view in “The Wayfinding Project” have augmented reality features—videos, animations, and sound media—that superimpose different and challenging visions to Eurocentric worldviews. On display are three paintings on mylar overlaying reproductions of British and Dutch colonial maps against the backdrop of a galactic mural, immersive digital fabric prints of the Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa and a Native American Three Sister Garden, an HMS Bounty ship model, a replica of a 17th century compass, and books that reference a history of oceanic exploration.
The installation will change over the course of its nine-month run, incorporating work by Lenape and Pacific scholars, culture bearers, curators, and communities who will piece together the surviving historical fragments of land dispossession, dislocation, and diasporas. Their combined findings will inform the creation of additional augmented and virtual reality experiences that will contribute to the envisioning and shaping of an Indigenous futurism.
The installation also seeks to raise awareness of the Hōkūle‘a, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe that will arrive in New York City on June 5, 2016 as part of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage. The journey is a part of a global movement for the resurgence of Indigenous knowledges, languages, and land-based practices.
The opening ceremony is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please call 212.992.9653 or visit www.apa.nyu.edu/events.
About the Artist
Beatrice Glow is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice comprises of sculptural installations, trilingual publishing, and participatory and lecture performances. Her research mines the relationship between Asia and the Americas, investigating transpacific cultural circulations, as well as persistent, romanticized notions of the exotic “other.” She earned a BFA in studio art from New York University, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute.
Installation Hours and Location:
“The Wayfinding Project”
Friday, March 25, 2016–Wednesday, December 21, 2016, Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
For more information and to plan a visit, please call 212.998.3700 or visit www.apa.nyu.edu.
Subways: N, R (8th St.), A, C, E, B, D, F, M (W. 4th St.)
Images available upon request