It’s 2017, It’s Going to be Better, and More Dangerous?
2016 year is finally over, but the horrids of 2016 recognize no year?! Since the year, is just a measurement. Today did not feel any more fresher just because it’s a new calendar year; it’s really just another day. So, no, it doesn’t feel like it’s a “new year”. Perhaps, this is just my resentment towards the last week of the year, a week (most of the time longer) of anxiety, compounded stress and the fear of being forgotten. A conversation with a friend recently made me think why don’t I try to treat 2017 differently by making New Years resolutions and so, I did it! Although, she said that my goals are not “quantitative” enough and are too personal/subjective.
Which brings me to a particular subject; how does one calculate risk? I have been pondering about this in relation to my kitchen presentation at the DAI. In retrospect, I must admit that I have lived rather riskily in Singapore; being investigated for using a sensitive word (which I’d rather not use here) on my blog at the age of 15/16, charged in court for 7 counts of vandalism at 19, arrested and charged in court again at 23 for illegal driving. I’ve been rather obedient after the last incident simply because I do not want to give any more reasons for the state to “restrict my freedom” due to my “crimes”, jeopardizing my “artistic practice”. And when I say “restricted freedom”, I really meant being locked up.
I began to analyze what encompasses this risk. Hence, the following “quantifying” questions of; what do I want to do that is so gravely dangerous that I have to think in such a way? Am I already traumatized from that 36 hours lock-up? Have I already lost my fight after being handcuffed in my own home that one time? Is this how much faith I have on Singapore (the state)? Would I put unnecessary attention/shame to my family for challenging the system, or the authority? How do I generate controversial narratives without putting my freedom or identity at risk? How much risks can I take as a citizen/an artist before my personal freedom gets impounded? Does it have to be at the expense of an individual — an “exemplary convict”? How can I talk about the fraud committed through the different state apparatuses? How far of an extent is the exploration of the limits of (il)legality done by utilizing a body or by creating a fictitious one, challenging the rhetorics of state apparatuses and thus, questioning the legitimacy of law, authority and power?
I’m just thinking aloud here. I hope this thought exercise can trigger a larger discourse and perhaps an ongoing writing/propositional work.
Now, happy New Year again, to readers, RFAOH crew, all ex and current residents, wherever you are!