"Community" attempts to present a more nuanced notion of community from a Thoeauvian solitude to the community of bowling leagues. Specifically, it is presented in relation to
First, the idea our society perpetuates that any
bond outside of the construct of either the first family we are born
into, or the second family that we create through marriage and
childbirth must, and will, always supersede those bonds of friendship
and community. The segregation of the "nuclear family" from the extended
kin and community forced women to become more dependent on the
individual man, and children to become more dependent on the individual
woman. This dependency created the much used opportunity for the abuse
of that power.
The second idea is the contemporary agreement by the
"social capitalists" like Putnam and de Souza Briggs, that the notion of
"community," and its relevance to daily life has been waning over the
last half century. It is generally noted, but often downplayed, that
while the traditional models of community such as the church,
recreational clubs, the PTA, political parties, etc. have shown a
steadily declining membership count, new models of community, such as
self-help groups, social movements, and especially the Net, have
flourished in membership ratios as well as group counts.
The third idea,
is that of a deeper understanding of the difference between loneliness
and solitude. It is a distinction we all know to exist, but find
difficulty in seeing it practiced in our own lives. Without that
understanding, community is nothing but a home for codependency.
An important aspect of "Community," is that the online experience of the site varies according to how many people are connected at the time.
Commissioned by Gallery9/Walker Art Center with funding from the Jerome Foundation.