Installation Hämeenkyrö, Finland.
While in Finland, I became very interested in the stark contrast of the Scandinavian “Everyman’s Law” (under which one can trespass, camp, pick berries on another’s property, etc.) versus the way that “private property” is conceptualized in the United States. In the U.S., “No Trespassing” and “Personal Property” signs dominate the rural landscape. It is seen as unacceptable and illegal to pass on someone else’s land and, in some states, legal to use deadly force against a person if they are trespassing. So strictly enforced are private property laws in the U.S. that they are often upheld simply through fear. As an American, I understand space through such imaginary limitations, such as political borders and other spatial constructs. Instinctually, I interpreted the Finnish landscape with the same trepidation: thinking that I could not tread on “private property”. To contrast the two polar concepts, I sought to create a piece that dealt with the idea of ingrained cultural, spatial behavior in contrast to “Everyman’s Law” in Finland. As a result, I posted “No Trespassing Signs” made out of silk organza to act as ghosts; traces; whispers of my former conception of “private space”. In the end, through the act of installing this piece, I was able to experience the benefits of “Everyman’s Law”.