The America(n)-like. archive-based installation

The objects borrowed from interviewees, digital c-print. dimensions variable. Apr 2023

I have interviewed seven different East Asian newcomers living in Ann Arbor. I asked questions: “what is the most American-like object/product that you have gotten or purchased here?”

We (the interviewed newcomers and me) came here by our own will; projecting different images, desires, and/or fears on the United States. The first thing I purchased when I arrived in the United States was, the "most-America-like" clothes–cargo pants–that I could imagine, to look like an “American” not an alien foreigner.

How do we render “America” in our perception? What is the most “American-like” souvenir, means, or remedy have we had? I collected and archived the newcomers’ vague, abstract, and differing responses about “the most American-like.” The work reveals how “Amerca”– an overwhelmingly giant, heterogeneous, and frightening entity for newcomers – has been fantasized, otherized, simplified, and/or re-translated for the sake of our successful residence/assimilation/adaptation in this country.

Photo by Ben Zink