First Recipient of the GLOBALL Rover.
13:32 PST, 08/23/17, South Park, San Fransisco, California, United States of America, North America
1. Tell us anything about yourself
This is always tough. What do you highlight? What do you leave out?
Right now, as I write this, I am preparing to leave the US, uprooting myself from the self I built here. Along with leaving my job, my city of 20 years, my neighborhood of a bit less than that, and all the social capital I have built up in this region, I am also leaving my language competency, since I will be moving to Japan, a place where I don't know the language. I hope to gain literacy if not fluency, but this is a major change.
As a result, in some ways, I don't know this 'yourself' you ask me to tell you about. In other ways, I know my demographics (white, cis-male, late 40s, etc). I know I grew up outside of Cleveland (Berea), Ohio. I know I went to school in St Louis. And I will soon put the past 21 years in the San Francisco Bay Area (mostly in San Francisco's Richmond District) in the past tense. I know I worked for a financial software company for 17 years. I know I am married to a wonderful woman for soon to be 9 years and counting. I have ideas about how all those experiences have defined me.
Considering all that, my present 'self' is in an unstable state. But I will soon be a white guy in his late 40s living w/ his wonderful Japanese wife in Tokyo, where my focus will be on teaching English and learning Japanese. If I get to write about films as I have in the past (South Korean films, films portraying physical disabilities, sports films being my primary focus), that will be great. But my primary focus will be on my family, my job, the new communities I will be a part of, and learning the Japanese language. My primary focus will be on who I will become, more so than who I've been.
2. How did it feel to receive the GLOBALL Rover from Oliver?
It was an honor and a big responsibility, since I will be the first person to be taking the GLOBALL abroad. It is a material representation of over 30 years of friendship between Oliver and I. By passing the GLOBALL Rover to me, Oliver has solidified our relationship, you might say. It's also special that I'll be taking it to Japan since Oliver's maternal lineage traces back to Japan.
3. Who are you giving the GLOBALL Rover to and why? What do they mean to you?
To Be Determined.
4. How did you meet them and how did you feel when you did?
To Be Determined.
5. What does the GLOBALL project mean to you?
I view the GLOBALL project as a way to return social media to material face to face interactions. This is not to speak disparagingly of social media. I have some very dear friends whom I've met through Twitter, for example. But 'social media' is a term that has arisen from the internet, a 'disembodied' space, so it is nice to return to an embodied social media before we had that term, 'social media'. Oliver's giving the GLOBALL Rover to me was a very special moment, so I look forward to explaining the mission of GLOBALL to others who see the GLOBALL Rover in our apartment. I can tell them about my friendship with Oliver, Oliver's conception of the product, and my own interpretation of GLOBALL. Through these conversations, and the touching of the GLOBALL Rover, noting it's heft, it's texture, a social media will become embodied beyond our conversations online and off.