As I gear up for this project in Vietnam, I presented my project proposal to my fellow ZERO1 artists, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ZERO1 staff, ZERO1 board members, and expert mentors from the tech field. This was the first pass in actualizing my idea for a project that will highlight LGBTQ visibility in Vietnam.
In thinking about how to project an image of contemporary LGBTQ community in Vietnam, I considered ways we can transmit images and messages. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to have little holograms that tell their own stories? My hope is to build little mini DIY hologram projectors using just an old CD case or piece of plastic. With special videos you can play on your smartphone, we can project a holographic image. When I get to Vietnam, I will be recording videos of Vietnamese LGBTQ community members and transforming these videos into hologram videos that will be visible using the DIY hologram projector device.
This week, I received vital feedback about how to expand the project in terms of scale and presentation. I also got to test out the prototype with a little help from Princess Leia.
Hologram Project Prototype, 2016. Photo by G. E. O'Brien
It worked! I was able to make the DIY projector device in about 30 minutes with just recycled plastic, an exact-o knife, some tape, and a ruler. Our esteemed mentors were just as excited as I am about this simple DIY technology as a way to share the voices of Vietnam’s LGBTQ community.
I am looking forward to collectively identifying and creating strategies to amplify these stories. To reflect on contemporary LGBTQ Vietnam and what an imagined future could look like for the community, I hope to ask project participants to share their visions for Queer Vietnam’s Future.