If I Were Standing in Your Shoes
If I Were Standing in Your Shoes
One day exhibition as a tribute to the National Sámi Day
Galleri KiT, Innherredsveien 7a
Liberation rests on the construction of the consciousness, the imaginative apprehension, of oppression, and so of possibility.
– A Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway
Haraway asserts that “naturalistic” tendencies in social theory are, by nature, oppressive because they insist on unity by suppressing diversity. The empathy we have as humans is one of our strongest powers. Is there any way we can fight the oppression of others, by learning to stand in others’ shoes? Through the simple act of compassion?
We utilize technology to transcend the limitations of the human condition, or to map the invisible frontier at the boundaries of our physical biology. How could the masses of data produced by our societies in this modern world be used to generate an ideal form of artwork, one which decentralizes power, decolonizes peoples, degenders the individual, and counters oppression by authority?
“A Cyborg Manifesto” argues that the social apparatus of control that maintains gender and sexual roles can be understood as a form of technology in itself, one produced by human culture as a way to manage society, whilst concomitantly being made up of individuals who create society themselves.
My proud Taiwanese history is pockmarked by colonization, a story of repression which is reflected even today in the Norwegian government’s dictation that my identity card should state that my nationality is “Chinese” (as opposed to “Taiwanese”), as in the Norwegian government’s eyes I am supposedly “of the People’s Republic of China,” a nation based on an Orwellian use of surveillance technologies with the intention of achieving a China with one homogenous culture. My people have been bullied and killed just for being a minority within a broader colonizing empire.
This background of mine, tainted by the domination of an external power, led me to seek out the plight of the last remaining indigenous peoples of Europe, who have long been situated in an arc spread across the Nordic nations: the Sámi. I was curious about their lives and how data and technology could alter their way of life. The Sámi have experienced forced assimilation and repression of their culture, which happened at the same time the Chinese government pressured the Taiwanese people to feel ashamed about their culture and languages. These echoes and ripples of common experiences of historical tragedy between the Sámi and the Taiwanese resonate strongly within me, and I believe these feelings allow me to better understand their pain. I want to use this emotion within me as a cause for good, through using my empathy as inspiration, allowing the generation of empathy into art.
“Art for art’s own sake is not enough for me.
Life, and Arts need purpose, as I see it. Mine is to inspire others. Survival.
Born a twin
There are two of us: The one I am
- Whatever that means –
The one whom I wish to become,
Thus in my art
Twins become one.”
Hans Ragnar Mathisen – Sámi artist and activist
The exhibition is held on the occasion of the first international Sámi conference in Trondheim, Norway, February 6, 1917.
In collaboration with Shayan Dadman- PhD researcher in Artificial Intelligence at UiT
Lin, Pei-Han. Originally from Taipei (TW), based in Trondheim (NO). Bachelor in Architecture design, Master in Fine art. Her works contain painting, video, sculpture, installation, sound, and text. She exhibited in Taipei, Vienna, California, Hong Kong, Bergen and Tromsø. Her artworks blur the boundary between science, technology, and art. Her intention is to have a platform for discussion of the relationship between human and technology based on the artistic research.”