Toke Westmark Steensen Member Since November 2012 Artist Statement Growing up I had a light switch connected to my body instead of a navel. It had always been there. My light switch was of the same brand that was installed in a majority of apartments between 2nd street and 14th street in East Village, New York during the Korean War. The inventor’s name was John Henry Holmes Jr., but incidentally, he showed no particular interest when I notified him of my condition.
About 87,5 % of people born with a deformity are incapable of feeling happiness. About 0,02 % of such people suffer from a deformity caused by the presence of a light switch on their body. I found these statistics in an encyclopedia on the Ottoman Empire. It was written across the last page with a black pen and underneath it, it said, “I love Sally Jenkins.” Upon reading these statistics, I was left with a slight feeling of inferiority that I never came to terms with.
It’s nothing fancy, but I’m having a small revelation. I feel a tickle in my left toe and I am acknowledging my own stupidity and my interest in ignorance and impotence. In making art I realize that my life and the events on my list that came with it is born out of impoverishment, lack of knowledge and in subtracting rather than adding.