Project: The Agency Project

Artist: Alex Goldberg

When I was very young, probably around age 10, I saw a Yoko Ono installation where she invited viewers to take a little piece of white paper with verbiage home. Each paper had a different message. I carefully chose one that said, “Draw a map to get lost.” I was so moved by this - the words were so simple - the paper so simple. I’ve kept this ideas with me ever since. It trickles in and out of my thinking. Recently I realized that the methodology I am creating for The Agency Project is a system for drawing maps to get lost. 

 Yoko Ono, Map Piece, 1964

Yoko Ono, Map Piece, 1964

Prior to the development of The Agency Project, I was making these composition pieces…

 Alex Goldberg. Composition 1, 2018

Alex Goldberg. Composition 1, 2018

 Alex Goldberg, Composition 1, 2018

Alex Goldberg, Composition 1, 2018

 Alex Goldberg, Composition 3, 2018

Alex Goldberg, Composition 3, 2018

 Alex Goldberg, Composition 3, 2018

Alex Goldberg, Composition 3, 2018

 Alex Goldberg, Composition 2, 2018

Alex Goldberg, Composition 2, 2018

These works are about the dance between creative work and life. They are a discussion about how everything we do with our minds, bodies, and eyes influences our personal composition at large. Today the way that we share our work and life, in realtime and through technology, has become a necessary evil. We are expected to divulge our truth and process while it is still in the making. This is vulnerability at its best and worst. The different modes of representation in my composition works are a visual interpretation of these tensions. 

The making of these works gave me a real understanding of the kit of parts that is my practice and this was how The Agency Project was born. 

The Agency Project developed from my personal need for a form of healing that came from my own development. I believe the human mind and experience is complex and infinitely individual. Our wounds are also unique and require our own upmost attention to heal. 

The nature of modernity creates systems and patterns; sometimes to a fault. This project is about returning to an individualized humanity. 

I have been working on a series of personal mapping projects that I see as a case studies for a method that facilitates self awareness, transformation, and self acceptance. A mapping project beings once I identify an area that could use attention and then hone in on a specific method for collecting data. 

It seems that I need some form of structure (a map) to set myself free. Structure is dangerous if you hold too tightly to it, but with free flow I lack focus and the ability to grow. The key is to find balance. When off balance, both structure and looseness give way to different methods for avoidance, and at the heart of it, these case studies are attempts at counteracting avoidance of truths. 

The success in the work is that the acts of documenting, revisiting, and transcribing manifest awareness of both my reality and my agency over my daily life and the broader course of my life. My goal is to utilize the research from my case studies to positively influence other individuals and communities.