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Museum Musings

So, what does freedom mean to you?

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Working on my new project for the Museum, Scattered Light, I was exposed to many personal associations and stories that arise when one is asked:Liat Segal  “What does freedom mean to you?” In Scattered Light, I use phrases taken from the Museum’s It’s Your Story recording booths, which invites visitors to record their answers to various questions. I write this post after long hours of video watching and feel that now it’s my turn to stop and answer this question myself.

The museum recording booth yields a spectrum of associations connected to freedom, from theoretical thoughts to extremely personal stories. My immediate association is very specific: the freedom to create. To create my art and to re-create myself.

About four years ago I re-created and redefined myself. After years in the academy and the high-tech industry, I started creating art. Back then I was working in a great group at a leading software company. I loved my colleagues, my research interested me, and the working conditions were amazing. It was all great, and at the same time something in me felt uncomfortable. So I created.

I started using the tools I had learned, but changed their contexts. I learned electronics and added new techniques to my toolbox. It took me a few years until I was able to say, when asked about my profession, that “I am an artist.” At first I was insecure about my steps but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by an encouraging environment. Lucky to have the emotional space, the physical ability and the support to create. There are still many open questions as I make my first steps into a new world, but I feel that the fact that one has the opportunity to redefine himself means optimism. This change did not happen overnight, but once the process started, for the first time I felt I was in the right place.

By Liat Segal, Artist


Photo by Jessi Melcer


Jessi,

Thank you for sharing your story. I also enjoyed observing responses from the recording booths at NMAJH. I agree that the opportunity to understand, let alone redefine, one's self is an empowering transformation that leads to optimism. I am happy to read you had support for your decision to change paths. That is a journey I am currently undertaking. The end has not made itself clear, but the process is rewarding. Cheers to your continued artistic production and confidence.

Best,

Jesse Burleson
Posted by: Jesse Burleson at 2/5/2015 5:24 PM


edit: that last comment was for the artist, Liat. My apologies.
Posted by: Jesse Burleson at 2/5/2015 5:27 PM


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