Present, I am

By Mark Araujo

Project Description

“Present, I am”, is a participatory interactive installation developed to make the participant present, aware, and in control of the progress of the art work through their movement in space and time. Throwing the participant into the thick of things, they encounter a maze-like structure, which they then navigate, immersing themselves further and further in audio and visual stimuli, all centered around the controversial topic of immigration: exploring this issue through various points of view.


Mark Araujo is a multidisciplinary artist from NYC working in sound, sculpture, video, and installation: focusing on expressive, experiential, and experimental modes. His work is influenced by fantastical musings of the natural world, mixed with an emphasis on social justice. As an educator, Mark emphasizes the therapeutic properties of art and art making, believing that through making, art leads to self-worth, encourages self-discovery, and results in more engaged communities.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Yehui Zhao

    Hi Mark how is it going? This is a great installation that brings immigration experience out of the screen to our eyes, ears and bodies. The installation can interest anyone, those who are immigrants and would like to learn more about other immigrants’ experience, those who see immigrants stories from mainstream media and those whose families were immigrants. The topic of immigration has always been central to our discussions and now it is impacted than ever because of the pandemic. The xenophobia, othering and hate crimes are our everyday reflections and they are manifested just like 911 that bring people’s life to danger. I think the immigration discussion and experience is particularly meaningful at this time.
    I think it is interesting that the installation is a maze structure and the user are encouraged to explore themselves. Is that part of uncertainty, being lost and disoriented a part of immigration experience that you hope people can feel? I think maze is a good metaphor for immigration because it has uncertainty and a sense of cruelty of unknown and being in darkness.
    I am wandering if there will be a progression of visuals at the three turning points of the installation? And how will the visuals connect to each other? Would it be the same story told by three different people or different people and different stories? I think that since the installation has three sections it would make sense for the views to find and explore connections between these stories without knowing what they are entering too, which is really like lots of immigration experience.

  2. Jeremiah Manoppo

    Present, I am is a very interesting project Mark. As a person born from a family of immigrants, it’s always nice to know that stories of immigration struggles and challenges are still being told. The interaction with your installation is a well thought out choice. Having a user fully used their entire persons to interact with the installation ensures full interactivity. The immersion of the installation also is a good idea. By surrounding the user, they’re constantly immersed in the stories and the installation. No one gets distracted and considering the subject of these stories, it’s important they are being told and someone is listening to them.
    As you explained in your description, the style of maze ensures a more positive interaction, people find the concept of a maze to be very alluring. Of course, a maze shouldn’t be too complex otherwise, people may not be attracted to the idea of interacting with a labyrinth. I’m sure your installation kept the concept simple with the stories in mind.
    Ultimately it’s always nice to know that there are other people who live different lives from you and me. Ideally, your installation would change some people’s minds about immigrants and how they are just as unique as everyone else.

  3. Aaron Buachie

    I think this project does an incredible job of highlighting different immigrant experiences and presenting them to the user in a unique and interesting way. I especially liked how integral the user themselves is to the overall experience. I think that by presenting these stories in a way that requires the user to keep moving not only creates a sense of curiosity that pushes the user forward, but also helps them really get invested in the stories. Overall, I think the most important thing about this installation is that the user leaves with a greater understanding and empathy of the immigrant experience which I think is done wonderfully here.

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