Thad Higa

This Land Is My Land

Thad Higa

This Land Is My Land

Date

2024

Edition Size

50

Media

Acrylic, Digital print, Packing tape

Binding

Coptic

Dimensions

8.5 × 5.5 × 1 in

Location

Oakland, CA

$ 480.00

Unavailable


View Collectors

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Walker Art Center

This Land Is My Land is a fictional narrative from the imagined headspace of current day, online white supremacists, nationalists, and their sympathizers. It is an attempt to see & know the many activities and contradictions of hatred, bias, and cynicism rooted in sloganized and weaponized words. It is an attempt to unveil the relationships between white supremacy, American exceptionalism and capitalist proprietary themes of shopping malls, graveyards, land trusts and development. But at its core, it is an exhibition of subterranean reading comprehension and the crux of urgent types of legibility in the oversaturated digital age.
This book makes use of different types of cheap papers, physically torn pages, and two multi-level foldouts with the max foldout size at 22 x 17 in. Materials exude a cheapness aligned with the capitalistic undergirding of the American society churning out these mentalities as products. It must flaunt its ordinariness; thus its naked book boards with packing tape, exposed spine, printer paper mixed with a cheap glossy photo paper, and facsimile rips caked on broken sidewalks.

While the mixed haptics bolster subtextual, psychic effects of the signs on each page, the foldouts demonstrate an interpenetration of reader and book object. In light of the eurocentric subject-matter, culpability and complicity is in the act of reading; it is in the handling of the pages. It is in the turning of each page, the accumulation of time-passage, moving through the land, and finally, in the opening of the two fold-out sections. The ways in which we read–what we extract from those people, objects, cultures, lands that we interact with–is a reflection of our culture and ourselves.

Words within are dog-whistles. Symbols are contextualized by real life hate-crimes, collaged into an abstraction that strips its meaning, and in its nudity it is rage in every direction. Who started the fire, what fuels the fire, how do we put out the fire? What will the fire consume? Everything. Who must put the fire out? Everyone, everywhere.

This Land Is My Land is an iterative, imperfect cultural token. Publishing this work is not an act of neatly packaging an idea or finalizing a product. Rather, it is a question mark that must make steps towards generative representation of the systemic conundrums of reading comprehension and general education in America. It must reveal inherent flaws in binary modes of thinking, while simultaneously celebrating the abstract multiplication of legibility as words and images move in chorus through the book object. If it does not do this, it will be amended by this author or the next.”