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Neotasaday is a blog and archive of projects by Jong Pairez.
The Tasaday is a band of cave-dwelling people discovered in the Southern Philippines in 1972 that later became controversial in the academe and popular media. Jong Pairez wanted to re-discover these cave-dwelling people by going through the meta-narratives behind the controversies and scandal that ruined their lives. This catastrophe brought by Science, Technology, and Market Economy which reformatted the Tasaday’s simple existence that is now in-between fiction and reality resemble our mediatized condition of everyday life.
However, whether the Tasadays really existed or not, this critical artistic project reinvents the Tasaday in our contemporary life. In relation to the catastrophe of mediatized life, Tasaday has become a framework to question identity, place, and memory. Thus, the term Neotasday is used to illustrate an opening of a new field of possibilities and impossibilities of our future present. We are all Tasaday and disaster will be the portal of this possibility, says the second generation Tasaday – Jean Makisig!
Jong Pairez (b. 1978) is a media artist and researcher based between Manila and Tokyo. In 2014 he initiated Civilisation Laboratory (CIV:LAB) – a tactical convivial space dedicated to research and design for sustainable and alternative living. He then presented this initiative as a Painting thesis in U.P. College of Fine Arts and received The Most Outstanding Thesis Award for pushing the boundary of his Studio Practice towards contemporary Social Practice in Art. Before arriving in the Social Turn he usually, works with digital and analog technologies in articulating his condition as a foreign migrant worker in Japan. Pairez independently produced digital video works and 8mm films bordering to documentary filmmaking. After a while, he decided his role – as a foreign migrant worker – to be in itself an artistic practice. Pairez is currently working on his Postgraduate Thesis at the Graduate School of Global Arts in Tokyo University of the Arts.
This video work by Anthropologist Dada Docot is an appropriation of Jong Pairez’s series of 8mm film diary that includes a film interpretation of Docot’s performance piece back in year 2007 about racial profiling in Japan. It was a metalinguistic approach to engaging the political meaning behind the performance piece. But this particular work has become controversial to both knowledge producers in the issue of ownership, authority, relationship, and different interpretation of meaning resulting to a bitter misunderstanding of both parties. However, the behind-the-scene process of this particular work reflects how we engage with people, meaning, images, relationships, etc. today – a very interesting location for a new criticality and process-based artistic practice. Moreover, following Roland Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” reading texts, images, or actions “lies not in its origins… [or creators] but in its destinations.”