“I have a dream” is an interactive installation and performance stage in New Haven Green for International Festival of Arts and Ideas 2016. This work is not only for paying my generous tributes to Martin Luther King, but also lead the audience to think what we can do for our environment. The nature of dream is that something we want to do and reach but not yet happened, in other words, it is talking about our expectation for the future. To reach our expectation in the future, there are three assumptions:
- We are still alive
- Knock off our fear
- Take action for our expectation
We always hear that there are a lot of variations in the future but something we can predict if we have no action for it. Nowadays technology is able to foresee our terrible future under the climate change. If we keep blinding on it, it will cause us dead and eliminate our dream. “I have a dream” is inspired by the ritual of natural religion, green power technology and the new haven poet. The installation is specific designed to the big tree in New Haven Green. There are a series of EL lighting and three digital messengers hung on it. Under the tree, three sets of wood sculpture were surrounded it as a guard. In the daytime, the solar power boards which were hung on the tree were able to absorb the energy by the sunshine, then transmit the power to the digital messengers at night. The programmed digital messengers will not only play the sound record about the people’s dream from Hong Kong, but also invited the listeners to speak and record their dream to Hong Kong people too. It indicated that everyone have the expectation for the future no matter what language we speak. In the performance, the digital messengers were mythicized to the tree fairy to pass the messages from far away.
The performance of “I have a dream” is a sort of mythmaking. There were 8 to 10 wood sticks attached in each wood sculpture; each wood stick was installed a set of mini magnetic electricity generation kit. Shanking the stick up and down, a very minor electricity can be generated. All the minor electricity can be collected and united by the wood sculptures for the EL lighting. I correlated those complex and scientific stuff with the ritual of natural religion. In the traditional Chinese and Africa ritual for the natural world, generally, there is a shaman who leads the people to pray and dance surround with statue or fire to express their respect to the nature. Therefore, in the performance, I became a shaman and lead the participants to dance with the wood stick. The dance is pretty easy for everyone. They only need to remember 3 commands. During the dance, I will keep saying three words “I, you, we”. If I say “I”, they go to find a space to dance individually. If I say “you”, they need to find a partner as soon as possible to dance face to face. If I say “we”, they need to form a circle to dance together. In the dance, they have to keep shanking their wood stick. After the dance, the participants need to pass me back the sticks then I inserted the stick back to the wood sculpture. The participants were able to see the EL lighting on the tree and rethink about their minor action and power would become a great force for the nature if we are union. After the dance, they can communicate with the “fairy” and know their accompanies in the other place who talked about their dream.
In the beginning of the performance, I invited a new haven poet Renee Bennett who is a single mother to read aloud her poet regarding to the fear in her life and the dream for her girl. In New haven even the world, there are a lot of problems but no matter what problems we meet, accompanies and union will help us success as the flourish lighting in the dark.