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Boy with a Movie Camera, Kona, Hawaii 1992

When I was fourteen, my family went on a trip to Kona, Hawaii, and I brought my first video camera with me, a Sony HI8 HandyCam; I was rarely seen without it. Although most tourists capture Hawaii’s environmental beauty, I, for some unknown reason, mostly chose to film anything but the typical scenic viewpoints of majestic volcanoes, black sand beaches or botanical gardens; instead, I documented the ordinary events of the everyday: the hotel elevator, the front desk attendant, the other tourists coming and going in the hotel lobbies, the bathroom, and the TV in the hotel room that was continuously showing a loop of activities geared toward getting tourists out of their rooms. Little did I suspect that this unique point of view would continue to influence my work twenty years later.

During the intervening liminal period, the state of the ritual subject (the “passenger,” or “liminar,”) becomes ambiguous, neither here nor there, betwixt and between all fixed points of classification; he passes through a symbolic domain that has few or none of the attributes of his coming state. — Victor Turner

This is a series of posts revised from my MFA thesis Shift, that I developed at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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Principal, Design Axl & Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Boston University

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