What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?
Much of my life of late has been the Ghana ThinkTank. This is a collaborative effort with John Ewing, Carmen Montoya, and dozens of think tank members and comrades around the world, including Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, Serbia, Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico, and, as I write this, Morocco and the Republic of Georgia. Much like my earlier, personal work in this year’s Conflux, it is a project dedicated to creating unlikely connections through seemingly naive reconfigurations of stuff we tend to take for granted.
What interests you in working in public space? what are some of the challenges you face making public work?
Radical Common Sense. When I lived in Benin, if cars were driving too fast through the village, people would break up the road with shovels to slow them down. In some ways, common sense has become a radical idea in the United States. We live off the vapors of assumptions we receive from someone else. I am trying to get back to this sense of radical common sense, connecting to another through an act so obvious we would never think of it, so easy we would never dare.
But common sense is hard to smell! And the only consistent way I can find it is through someone else pointing it out to me with my own damn fingers. So I am interested in setting up the sorts of situations that reflect our lives through another’s perspective—the finger that points at the moon that reflects in the puddle that we step in, and the cold muddy water splashes down our boots and socks.
Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?
I just climbed to Mother Georgia in Tbilisi. Next week I will customize a Donkey Cart in Morocco!