Walker Art Center
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Translocations


the local, then how does one really conceptualize and articulate its radicality vis--vis globalization? If the translocal is strategically driven by the desire to connect up to what turn out to be largely global operations (and I am willing to accord that not all nonlocal activities are necessarily global, for example, diasporic, religious, and regional activities), then what possibilities does it represent for strategically articulating the local? While speculating on the notion of nomadism and on the translocal connections that Raqs celebrate through the net communities they plug into, I wondered about another translocal concept, that of the diaspora. The diasporic individual seems to have been the first translocal insofar as he/she has had to connect up to an imagined community in a manner that transcends geographical positioning.

I am wondering if Raqs need be so anxious to reject the label "Indian" to articulate a nomadic position, since they could draw some ideas of how such translocality can be managed by looking at the experiences of many diasporic Indians like myself. I am not suggesting by this that the diaspora is a successful translocal articulation that makes a seemingly impossible reference to some distant (both culturally and temporally) reference point, but rather that the diasporic experience is itself one that flip-flops between connection and disjuncture, between mimicry and invention, between roots and routes. Being a third-generation Indian migrant living in Singapore who has never visited India but has been consistently referred to and related to as Indian, though never quite identifying with that label, I draw these connections between the diasporic experience and that of translocation as a means to highlight the perpetual indecision that characterizes such positions or lack thereof.

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From: yukiko shikata <sica@dasein-design.com>
Date: Wed Mar 13, 2002 3:19am
Subject: Re: Why "translocations"?


Dear Guna and the rest,

In my last mail I used the term globalization generally, from the aspect of financial flows, which is done, in a way, top-down, driven by corporations or nation-states, or by the mixture of them.

But can I say that there is another, alternative layer of globalization, which could be realized bottom-up by the people connected globally, or as Guna wrote, by "the will to globality" according to Okwui?

I think translocal is a condition that leads away from the existing opposition of global versus local, but always faces the contradiction between those two.

I locate translocal as a condition realized by an unlimited number of people, each of whom is attentive locally and connected globally. The translocal emerges through a kind of ever-changing interaction process among these people and can be different depending on the reality of each participant. It is multilayered, and those layers are not always synthetic but rather contain some contradictions. The reality of each location can be shared in part with other locations. But at the same time not all is shared, and in this lack or difference "imagination" starts to work.

In 1996 I became involved in the exhibition atopic site held in Tokyo (atopic contains the meanings "a-topos" and "a-topic").[14] Five curators, myself included, brought in artists to create site-specific projects, each based on a specific local situation, such as Sarajevo, Geneva, Okinawa, Indonesia, and the United States, among others. The projects questioned whether such local realities could be shared in Tokyo or not. I think the answer was both. Visitors discovered problems similar to those in Tokyo but at the same time realized the different realities stemming from social, political, and cultural backgrounds.

14 The exhibition atopic site was held in August 1996 at Tokyo Big Sight, within the framework of Tokyo Seaside Festa organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The exhibition was co-curated by Hiroshi Kashiwagi, Kenjiro Okazaki, Yukiko Shikata, Naoyuki Takashima, and Akira Tatehata.