Gary Ross Pastrana will collect “Fifty Shared Words” as a response to the overlaps in histories and languages in the various parts of Southeast Asia. With these words he will write short descriptions, musings, meditations or anecdotes about each word, comparable in format with Primo Levi’s Periodic Table. Research will be kept to informal conversations with artists and other everyday people encountered during the residency to keep the whole experience direct, unmediated, and current. The aim is not to come up with an academic linguistic study but to encounter words in actual usage by real people and in the process learn through communication. Short stays in other neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, (to meet artists and visit artists communities) is also worked into the plan to expose to varying settings and the more subtle differences in context and usage of the words.
Gary Ross Pastrana