The New Tribe Project
We live in a world of increased globalization and, as a result, homogenization. Cultures are co-opted for consumerism; brands become identities.
Regardless, we still live in and inhabit various biomes: even the urban microcosm of L.A. is markedly different from that of Brooklyn or Milwaukee or Manchester. Tribal peoples for thousands of years have created art and tools that were a product of their unique environments – they formed certain ways of seeing the world around them and reflected it back in specific colors, patterns and stories. But they did not exist in a vacuum or maintain a static sense of culture: if new materials or items were acquired through trade/travel, they were incorporated into the traditional art and traditions, creating a synthesis of things that still maintained a fidelity with the past but moved forward into the changing identity of the people.
Although globalization has caused the smoothing out of certain cultural wrinkles, we cannot help but process our identities as Homo sapiens within the specific environmental and social landscapes in which we find ourselves.
The New Tribe Project is an exploration into this phenomenon and experience of being human. Through it I invite participants to collect materials from a location of their choosing and designation – perhaps a dresser drawer, their route to work or a local park. I then use those materials to craft artifacts of the 21st Century landscape…tools of the New Tribes, so to speak.