The #iDisplacements — a reinterpretation of Robert Smithson's "Displacements" that exchanges his mirrors for the reflective glass of contemporary mobile devices – are a series of works and processes that include site-specific intervention, photo documentation, textual reflection, and social media distribution. Each element is publicly discoverable amidst all of the disparate global content shared under the thirty hashtags interspersed in the maximized captions of each post and under the various Biennale-related location tags, adding another understanding of contemporary ‘site,’ and another layer of ‘displacement,’ to the project.
From the project's description on Medium:
"The online essay series #iDisplacements is only one facet of a project that includes site-specific intervention, photo documentation, and textual reflection. It plays out in the favours asked and the devices begrudgingly contributed; in the participant’s resulting phantom ache; in the slowed pace and secondary documentation of passersby; on Instagram and Medium; between immediate metaphors of ‘art as mirror’ and ‘black mirrors’ and Venice as a mirror; between reflection and refraction and smudging and buzzing; between stasis and anticipation; between glass and gravel; across sites displaced.It takes as a rubric Robert Smithson’s 1969 essay “Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan,” published in Artforum in September of that year, and the nine corresponding photographs that accompanied the text and documented the moments of literal reflection (“Displacements #1 – #9”).
Fifty years later, the ink black of the ever-ready pocket mirrors of today displace not the “jungles and wastelands” of the Yucatan—a site sought out for its elusive ‘wilderness’—but instead the Venice Biennale, a site built to showcase fine art as the epitome of ‘civilisation’.
Mirrors exchanged for phones, the Yucatan for the Venice Biennale. iMirrors, iTravel, iDisplacements.
To displace is alchemical — a non-retractable transmutation.
To displace is violent.
To displace is symbolic.
To displace is rhetoric.
*is is at once can be and or not.