This 15 minute talk version of the original paper Third Skin: The Borderless Surface of Migrants’ Creative Resistance was initially performed on December 6th 2017 as part of Through the Tulgey Wood: MA symposium at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
This essay is a love letter to the contemporary migrants whose mobilities are stigmatized by nation-states. These same mobilities, in the realm of culture, reinforce global citizens’ desire for a transnational sensibility, which I model as Third Skin. This method for embodying border-crossing experiences draws upon theories investigating the intersections of art, politics, and senses. This sensory journey is demonstrated with three art works: visual artists Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ multimedia sculpture The Gates of Hell (2004); Lee Su-Feh’s ritualistic dance of remembrance The Things I Carry (2016); Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro’s performance memorial to the lost indigenous cultures After Sundance (2015). The process of witnessing these artworks is articulated by the writer, a migrant body straddling two far apart places: Seoul, Korea and unceded Coast Salish Territories, now called Vancouver, Canada. Third Skin tangiblizes the weight of our interrelations in globalization as creative resistance.