walk in

City College, New York Multi-media Installation (Photography, Video, Audio and Interactive Components), Dimensions Variable "Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly; “Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy. The way into my parlor is up a winding stair, And I have many curious things to show when you are there" Walk In explores the contradictory manner in which government and corporate policies are presented to the public. The specific focus is on the discrepancy between government sanctioned programs like MAVNI, which offer non-citizens with “special skills” citizenship in exchange for serving in the army, and the increasingly nationalistic response to immigration in the current election climate, here in the United States.

After laying dormant for several years, the Pentagon reopened the MAVNI program, recruiting undocumented immigrants with “special skills” into the US armed forces, and subsequently offering them citizenship, in exchange for their service. Some of the first groups of these immigrants, granted deportation deferrals by the Obama administration were eligible to apply for this program in 2014. Amongst the special skills recognized by this program is a fluency in languages including Hindi, Urdu, Turkish, Korean, Nepali, Russian and Ukrainian, languages spoken by people from countries where the US has a current, vested, political interest. Ironically however, Spanish, the language spoken by a majority of the undocumented immigrants here in the United States, does not qualify for this incentive.
Walk In is conceived as a series of entrances or points of engagement. It contends with the reduction of life into a commodity, one good that may be exchanged for another.

Special thanks to Misha Kollontai, Lin Rao, Paulo Fonseca, Naeem Mohaiemen, Jungwon Park, Hammarsing Kharmar and Chad Marshall for lending their voices and their patience to this piece.

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