For 12 good years that I’ve lived in this room, and I have been asked by the better part of my conscious and a nagging mother to wrestle against entropy by meticulously cleaning, maintaining, and organizing fruitless material objects in a habitual manner. In many ways, the ‘stuff’ we own defines us, and sometimes, the more things we own, the less freedom we have.
On June 3rd, 2008, I decided to put an end to the limitations set upon by my personal consumerism with a quest to blow up my room. I expressed my nuisance through a physical, yet flamboyant mayhem, hoping the result would be a life lesson about freedom through disentanglement with the material world, and empowerment through the engagement of the physical self.
This mission was also a mean to rediscover, and at the same time, letting go of a past that I try a little too hard to control. The room itself and the objects it contained became metaphors for my mind and my memories. Like a healthy and maturing brain that reorganizes itself by weeding out old and futile information, I too, must do the same for my identity and my environment. I found things that are long forgotten, and would probably never have resurfaced otherwise. Among the treasures I discovered were love letters from the 3rd grade, kindergarten year book, used condoms, journals, old photographs, high school report cards, various childhood toys, and other futile evidence of the discontented past of an exhausted and powerless young man.
This act of ardent annihilation also serves as a language to articulate an unspoken rage of an unresolved family crisis, brought upon by the lack of my father’s consistent presence throughout my childhood. Not that I believe terrorizing lifeless objects would be the means to the predicament, but at least it leaves me a mess I can fix.
Mixed emotions of nostalgia, resentment, melancholy, and exhilaration emerged out of my central nervous system, as it demanded much of my fast-twitch muscles to complete a dichotomic workout that is both self-destructing (vomiting) and self-comforting (masturbation) in nature. The experience also allowed me to express my muscularity from a twisted and feminine angle that would most definitely be prohibited in any public and commercial gymnasium. Bounded by the tightness of my mother’s underwear, I extended my body and guts to the limit anyway, and produced as much disorder and energy as I could in the given space and time.
If nothing else, the result of this disturbing anarchic served as a kind of wake-up call, as it raised interesting questions about the nature of my identity and my relationship to the world I made. It was a brutal, yet honest effort, and I have never felt so liberated.