Batanes Blank Book Project

The project is based at Basco Batanes in the Philippines, home of the indigenous Ivatan people. The installation is placed in a room within the vintage church building of Mahatao, were community meetings take place and where people traffic for  passage to crossover parallel streets.
My objective is to construct an installation within everyday context, to facilitate the democratic creative play of audiences, and to collect everyday–type of random information from the community. This is a preservative response regarding the modernization of Ivatan culture.

The installation, guided by the focus to create a less intrusive, culturally sensitive yet imaginatively provoking environment, uses components with images common to the communities. I recreated found boats into chair and table fixtures with wheels. I remodeled the existing shelves and attached wheels to boulders from the beaches. I brought 900 volumes of blank books and placed them on shelves shaped like undulating waves.These elements evoke visual images reflecting their own environment.

The facility allows anybody to write or record anything in the books. People are allowed to move the elements inside the room according to how they want it. People can also leave anything that can fit into the pages of the books or the shelves. The facility is open for whatever uses the community sees it possible.

Currently the project assumes an active involvement in everyday living functions held at its site and has become a station which is part of the local eco tour. Hopefully the books will become a resource for indigenous Ivatan culture in the future and as an image project the importance of Ivatans seeing themselves as source of legitimate body of knowledge.

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