Tavia David is an artist from Chicago, IL. She currently lives and works in Chicago. See more at taviadavid.com.
~ C H I C A G O ~
There is a phenomenon that happens when looking at a schematic of floor plan. Immediately, one adheres to a set capacity of space in which to move and exist. One is made implicit in a language set by minimal symbols and visual queues. This subtle yet instantaneous adherence to structure is a key motivation in my investigative practice and is, as I see it, a pivotal element in understanding the experience of moving through spaces as a person of color. More specifically, I investigate how the languages of my past conflict, almost constantly, with the languages of an imminent present. I often use the same observations to reconcile an unwilling departure from my small childhood neighborhood on the westside of Chicago. Noam Chomsky writes: “Language is like a bell. It sounds and it means[...] It is merely a series of distractions in the air [...] When language gongs, it comes in contact with the mind.”
It is my belief that we are never truly removed from the languages of our makings and are constantly seeking to communicate stories through the lens of our origins. I find this especially true when considering the intricacies of the
African American vernacular. There are subtle implications that allude to state of being - said state is one quintessential to the AAVE because it lends itself to the nature of being cyclical and indefinite. The phrase “I be going in," for instance, is a delicate contradiction of potential (future
tense) and what is expected (present tense). The GIFs to follow are studies for an animated short inspired by an article I read about decoherence in quantum and classical mechanics. In it, it is stated that “gravity is not strong enough to force every object in the universe to follow the same past»present»future direction. Instead, time’s arrow emerges from observers.” Though intended for film, the simple looping GIFs function much like the memory associations that fuel the very languages we use to navigate through memory and the present.