Migration is movement and change. It can be cyclical, habitual: a bird flies south for the winter; a school of fish swims upstream. Migration can be unexpected, forced, violent: the result of wartime cruelties or the indifferent destruction of natural disasters. The earth shudders, people rebuild, and somewhere overhead a bird changes course.
Transhumance means a seasonal movement of pasture, the transfer of humans and livestock from one grazing ground to another with the change of the seasons. In Moscow, dogs learn to ride the subway and begin to commute daily for food. And overhead, a bird now calls out to the rest of his flock in a ringtone song he learned on the corner of 3rd and Union in South Brooklyn.
The worlds we have created by our seemingly inexhaustible hunger for new pastures; goods and services that migrate all over the globe, communication, mapping, and tracking technologies that collapse those selfsame distances, move and change us. It seems we are all becoming transhumans, tech-driven nomads, moving between cultures, generating new definitions of what it means to be from a place, a people.
Proteus Gowanus itself is a migratory creature. As ideas and objects, people, resources, collective and individual actions intersect and diverge in new and interesting ways, Proteoscope will follow the paw prints, feather trails, fingerprints and skid marks that travel through the exhibitions of art and artifacts, through books and talks, through all the events that converge within, and surround the various components that make up the Proteus Gowanus community.
Thank you for traveling with us.