Happy New Year!

2011 was a very productive year for Bound in Japan, and I’ll be doing a recap to kick off 2012. My presentation about Bound in Japan is the inaugural event of a new arts organization called SIFT (Sequence. Image. Form. Text.), co-founded by my good friend and fellow artist Yuka Petz along with Angela Driscoll.

The event is sponsored by and will take place at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery as part of their Happy Hour Salon on Thursday, January 26, 2012.

Come meet me in New Orleans and learn more about Bound in Japan!

Bound in Japan – Happy Hour Salon
Thursday, January 26, 2012, 6:00PM-8:00PM
Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
3161 Burgundy Street, New Orleans, LA

More details here.

We learn from stories, and everyone has a story to share. This is the premise of the Human Library Project, which aims to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices, and encourage understanding by providing “people on loan” or “living books.” You come in, take a look at the catalog, and request a living book with whom you can chat or interview. The list of living books includes titles such as homeless, lesbian, politician, graffiti artist, refugee, and so on.

The Human Library Project began in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000. Since then, human libraries have been introduced in over 45 countries, providing opportunities for visitors to interact with individuals of diverse backgrounds and histories. Read more about their mission and activities on the Human Library website.

Libraries have always been centers of knowledge, education, and community, and human libraries are offering a unique service. In a time and age when people no longer know their neighbors and more communication is conducted via cyberspace than face to face, encouraging more personal dialogue and interaction is more important than ever.

How often have you looked at someone and wondered what his or her story is? Exercising your imagination is a wonderful thing of course, but the truth may be even more interesting than you could have ever imagined. All you have to do is introduce yourself and ask.

Image by Voula Monoholias, first seen here.