Bringing the ‘Neish to the States

Indonesia is the country with the fourth largest population in the world, and the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, although not many people, even in the United States know that. Beyond that, not many people know that Indonesia is actually a very diverse country with multiple clans and tribes all with their own culture and cuisine in addition to a variety in religion – Christian, Hindu, Buddha, and others as well.

Bringing such a diverse country into the United States, even through the Internet is no small task, as such diversity often clashes with the United States’ own diversity, with such a culture often being viewed as strange and exotic by most people in the United States, and often demeaned for being a third world country. Although it is a third world country, or maybe because it is one, Indonesia has a rich history and it is not often known that it has had prosperous ages.

To tap into that ancient history and convey the affect of such a diverse and historic culture, I would like to present images filtered as though they were taken a long time ago, in order to convey a sense of regality and displacement, as if you were peering into an exotic world disconnected from you through time, as in this photo of the Indonesian Mosque in Elmhurst:


Through the presentation of these images as being ancient, I wish to convey that there is a whole other world within the United States, a community of storied people who have just as much culture as other peoples here. I would also like to present images that may prove provoking and controversial, images that feature slander against Muslims as a critique on how xenophobic Americans can get, and how Indonesians are lumped together with their Middle Eastern cousins, presenting an affect that conveys emotions of alienness, strangeness, and loneliness. Beyond that I filter all the photos through different colors so as to convey an affect of something being different, an exoticness that seems rugged and ancient yet strange, and I plan to put audio that exclusively sounds Indonesian with perhaps some English translations for interviews in order to really simulate the community.

Brian Massumi in his work “The Autonomy of Affect” details the difference between emotion and affect. He details emotions as being “qualified intensity,” whereby intensity is inserted into function and meaning, as he says it is “intensity owned and recognized (Massumi 27).” On the other hand, affect is unqualified, it is not own able or recognizable, and is tied more to the unconscious, the unconscious expression of the intensity we experience from images, and it is this that I want to tap into through the ecological work I do on the site.

Works Cited

Brian Massumi, The Autonomy of Affect.


~ by dilobarks on February 28, 2018.