September 16, 2019. Completion of my video - Immigrants of the 21st Century in America

It had been very difficult trying to do a 28 min video using my 13 inch laptop. I completed the video but had a hard time exporting the Premier file to a MP4. Do not use the Media Encoder though It promises to make exporting faster but it does weird things to your video that cannot be explained. Luckily I took it to a friend’s place. She had a big desktop and I was able to export it there - inside Premier, not Media Encoder. I submitted the video to BRIC for airtime in Brooklyn Free Speech TV HD.

Meanwhile training Interns to work on the Balloon Project every other day or so.

Work in Progress. Racing to the final 100 meter Stretch. September, 2019.

At the end of August , 2019 I finally resolved the issue of the punching sound created by the pressured air entering balloons. For the longest time I thought the balloons require higher pressure to inflate and deflate to the desired sizes that I wanted. The sound of the forced air was very unsettling and distracting. I was about to give up and allow the sound as it was. Then I began to think and play around again. I had the source air valve that control the main air flow at a quarter-turn to let air-in slowly. Secondly, I decreased the localized pressure control gauges for both sets of balloons from 80psi to 60psi and finally settled at 30psi. After the pressure control gauges were down to 30 psi I adjusted the two signal valves with timers which control the amount of air in and out of balloons. Each signal valve control a set of 16 balloons . The front 16 balloons which get more air easily because there is direct air flow from the air hose, the timing is set to let air in at 9 secs in and 4 secs out. The back burner 16 balloons cannot compete with the front 16 so the timer for air-in is 15 seconds and air-out 9 seconds.

The lowering of pressure had cut down the forced air sound to a satisfying decibel level. The air intake for the front 16 balloons was set to 9 seconds compare to the back 16 balloons of 15 seconds so more air could be distributed to the back 16. The 9 seconds air-out setting for the back 16 was for more air to remain inside the balloons. However competitions for air between the balloons are relentlessly fierce. The front 16 still has better air supply.

Exhibition Updates August, 2019

June and July, 2019. Check out Finalized printing of 1500 brochures, 1000 postcards, 200 posters and mailing labels.

Great support from my intern assistants Aliana Ramdass, Daniel Matthews, Susan Dawe, Zuhal Pasoon and welcome Giulia Michieli who joined our team to work with me on promotion of the Balloon Project.

August, 2019. Time is running out though the video Immigrant of the 21st Century in America. is a continued work in progress. However I need to have at least 20 minutes of footage for the October Balloon Project exhibition. Currently Contacts to immigrant support groups have resulted for a few immigrant candidates for video interviews I am looking to interview immigrants who came to America since year 2000 and who are willing to share stories of their immigration experiences. I have received several commitments- from people who had come to the United States from Mexico, Guatemala, Iran, and Africa. I must step on the gas peddle and move forward quickly.

A promotional video is made and a Balloon Project support team video also finished to give credits to the my artists support team.

Exhibition Update - June 7, 2019

The balloons represent migrants in flight. When people enter the Balloon Project Room they become aware of their own breathing and the breaths simulated by the Balloons. Next to the Breathing Balloons people sense the plight of the refugees. Occasionally a balloon or two will pop, which symbolize a loss of life. Inside the Balloon Room people and refugees are one in breath. The Balloon Project is a small branch of the river of revolution in protest of the current political administration.

Streaming over the ‘breathing’ balloons will be film clips from WMM films and a video by Yan Kong “Immigrants of the 21st Century in America”. The WMM film documentaries are selectively chosen to show various political situations around the world that people are facing today. They are: Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind, Don’t Tell Anyone, Maria in Nobody’s Land, Ni Aqui Ni Alla, A Revolution in Four Season; by filmmakers Karin Winther, Mikaela Shwer, Marcela Zamora Chamorro, Gabriela Bartolamedi co-produced by Mark Abramson, Jesse Deeter (in the films’ order). The WMM film stories and Kong’s video added a different perspective of the migrant crisis and how it had changed the lives of ordinary people and what people were facing in the current volatile political environment. Special thanks to WMM and the filmmakers Winther, Shwer, Chamorro, Bartolamedi, Abramson and Deeter. All films in the program of the Balloon Project except Yan Kong’s video production are courtesy of Women Make Movies.

The Balloon Project Special Events schedule

AWA Gallery, 136 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Admission: Free

Poetry Reading

Saturday, November 2, 2019 4 - 5:30 PM

Sarah Riggs, Celina Su, Asiya Wadud, Jianna Park willeach read from her poem collections. Sarah Riggs will collaborate with Elena Berriolo for Feed Me theLine - a sewing performance to spoken words.

Movie Nights

Friday, October 25

Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani, 2018
A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME is an awe-inspiring vérité documentary about a young Afghan woman's brave fight to seek justice and protect her children after experiencing years of abuse at the hands of her father. In 2014, she appeared on national television to publicly accuse him, and became the first Afghan woman to bring a case of incest to court despite threats from her uncles and brothers and judges who labelled her a liar. In a country where the systematic abuse of girls is rarely discussed, Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani's film tells a story of bravery, love, hope and resilience and sheds light on a broken judicial system and the women it seldom protects.

Ellie Lobovits, Mexico/USA, 2018, 28 min
This intimate and personal documentary follows two women from Ciudad Juárez as they cross the U.S.-Mexico border legally to give birth in Texas, putting their hearts and bodies on the line as they confront harassment at the hands of U.S. border officials. One million people legally cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day in both directions. Among them are women who cross for the purposes of childbirth. With the threat of obstetrical violence in Mexican hospitals and the desire for natural birth with midwives, Gaby and Luisa make the difficult decision to cross the border to El Paso, seeking a safer future for their children. Even with papers, their journeys are uncertain. Against the backdrop of oppressive U.S. border policy and growing debates over immigration, these women's stories of risk, strength, and resilience shed light on the realities and challenges of life on the border.

Friday, November 1

Sarah Barton, Australia, 2018, 85 min
DEFIANT LIVES is a triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement. It tells the stories of the individuals who bravely put their lives on the line to create a better world where everyone is valued and can participate. Featuring interviews and rarely seen archival footage, the film reveals how these activists fought to live outside of institutions, challenged the stigmas and negative image of disability portrayed by the media, demanded access to public transportation, and battled to reframe disability rights as a social responsibility relevant to us all. DEFIANT LIVES is an excellent tool to encourage discussions about diversity and disability for students, audiences and community groups.

Benedetta Argentieri
A Portrait of Three Women in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq Leading the Fight for Gender Equality. Politician Selay Ghaffar is one of the most wanted people in the world by the Taliban and yet she still travels through Afghanistan to educate other women about their rights. Rojda Felat is a commander of the Syrian Democratic Army, leading 60,000 troops to defeat ISIS, including freeing their hold on Raqqa and rescuing its people. And Yanar Mohammed, named by the BBC as one of 100 most influential women in the world in 2018, pushes for parliamentary reform in Iraq while running shelters for abused women.
Despite battling seemingly overwhelming obstacles, all three women display resilience, bravery and compassion. I AM THE REVOLUTION challenges the images of veiled, silent women in the Middle East and instead reveals the extraordinary strength of women rising up on the front lines to claim their voice and their rights.

Testing a film ( courtesy of Women Make Movies ) by streaming it over the balloons set up. The artists support team of the Balloon Project. From left: Aliana Ramdass, Rebecca Rajgopaul, Daniel A. Matthews, Yan Kong, Zuhal Pasoon.

Testing a film ( courtesy of Women Make Movies ) by streaming it over the balloons set up. The artists support team of the Balloon Project. From left: Aliana Ramdass, Rebecca Rajgopaul, Daniel A. Matthews, Yan Kong, Zuhal Pasoon.

Artists Support Team of the Balloon Project. From Left: Zuhal Pasoon, Aliana Ramdass, Giulia Michieli, Yan Kong, Daniel A. Matthews, Rebecca Rajgopaul, Susan Dawe.

Artists Support Team of the Balloon Project. From Left: Zuhal Pasoon, Aliana Ramdass, Giulia Michieli, Yan Kong, Daniel A. Matthews, Rebecca Rajgopaul, Susan Dawe.

Work in Progress, January 29, 2019

The collages were out. While looking at the white balloons, the white supporting tubes, the white cover cloth beneath and the white wall, I wrack my brain to come up with something that could be visually exciting in the presentation. I thought it is a three dimensional canvas. How do you paint a canvas like it is. The next thing I found myself doing is setting up my video projector. Yes! Play a movie over this white background. I found lots of videos about the migrants and refugees in Youtube. I experimented. The result was amazing. The video as it played it colors inflating/deflating balloons. I yet have to get permission from the media to have license to use these videos. I cannot use these videos as part of my exhibition presentations. However, here are a few images.. I think this is it. The best visual presentation of the Balloon Project so far. I am committed to this. Now the job remains for me is to produce my own videos.


Work in Progress. January 28, 2019

The visual effect of the 32 balloons posted January 9 has a small but uncomfortable problem. The balloons were looking like Cheerios. A bit too cheerful for the ideas they are to represent which is refugees and migrants fleeing for their lives with battered breathing. I experimented with different color scheme. All the balloons are now white with a few transparent. Supporting tubings are painted white. the cover cloth beneath is white. I visualize that the balloons would blend in - white balloons, white tubes, white cloth and white wall. They will just float and suspend in the air, pulsating with air.

A week’s work has proven that the balloons are stubbornly rooted with the white tubes. Perhaps I do not know how to light the area because these balloons did not float and suspend as I had hoped for when inflating and deflating. The balloons presentation was rigid and static.

Functional settings at this stage are: The Lenticular Valve to the air-source pneumatic tubings are set at quarter turn to allow air stream-in slower and a bit less forceful. The blue airflow valve are set straight to fill front and end balloons at once in beginning, then a quarter turn to allow even distribution of air for front and end balloons. Regulator for air signal is 20psi. Regulator for air source is 60psi. Timer setting for first 16 balloons is 5sec in/2 sec out; for the 2nd set of 16 is 4sec in/ 3sec out.

Stay tune for March. Here is the blinking light bulb. The balloons would be in color again. We will have a guerrilla force working to make floor to ceiling collages with images of refugees and migrants embellished with color paints. The balloons would be in colors. Tubings would be painted with colors. The covered cloth and part of the floor would be a colorful collage also. The goal is to have the balloons floating and suspending in the air within a consuming colored stage.

Work in Progress. January 9, 2019

The Balloon Project will showcase 32 balloons at AWA Gallery, Brooklyn, October 15 - November 15, 2019. For future update informations visit

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Work in Progress January 4, 2019

The boxes that were made to house the balloons were abandoned for shorter interconnecting air passages since the boxes had created longer air passage routes and had taken too much air supply leaving less air for the inflation/deflation for the balloons. The new configuration for the 16 balloons using tighter and closer connections between balloons was more efficient and lesser taxing on the compressor.

60 gallon tanks will run the 16 balloons for 16 minutes at 40 psi and a separate regulator at 20psi for the air flow for air signal timing device.

Work in Progress, December 2018

The Balloon Project in Progress. 16 balloons. Compressor 60 gallons tank, 3.5 HP, 220V. The 60 gallons full tank will run at 40psi using a regulator for 12 min. The inflation/deflation of balloons at 4 sec in 3 sec out.

Fantasizing running the balloons like in a circus with a monkey peddling a bike that channel air into the balloons. If anyone knows the mechanic of doing this please email me. It’s the same principle of a motor running the Ferris Wheel. A stationery bike with an electric motor would work similarly. Talking out loud and throwing ideas in the air.