My new project, Affirmations, or Otherwise, is an interactive text-based installation that examines the space between official information and vernacular understandings, as we map and unmap “place”. Particularly, this new work explores the affective dynamics we tend to either tune into or ignore in the places we live. In our everyday lives, directions can be given, suggested, indicated, or sanctioned, but en route navigation and understanding nevertheless remains an autonomous activity influenced by a plurality of individual interests. Affirmations, or Otherwise builds upon the language, conventions, and tropes of mapping, presenting the viewer with a number of unconventional navigational aids designed to capture, amplify, or encourage making a decision in public. Vinyl text, posters, pamphlets, and signposts become markers of alternative directions, or other possibilities of being in public, leaving the decision of where to go from there up to the viewer. These opportunities to make decisions in public will take place both inside the Comox Valley Art Gallery gallery space, and outside at sites in the neighbourhood and across the city. I want to encourage viewers to participate in the exhibition by tallying their own movements throughout the artworks, as they are presented with indicators of the varied and shifting priorities that complicate our own decision-making.
Justin Langlois is an artist, educator, and organizer. His practice explores collaborative structures, critical pedagogy, and custodial frameworks as tools for gathering, learning, and making. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Practice in the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.