Lastly, do you have any exciting projects planned for after lockdown ends?
I plan to continue developing ‘Down by the Hudson’, my ongoing ‘ode’ to a Poughkeepsie, a small town in upstate New York where I lived for several years. Poughkeepsie was almost neck-and-neck in the 2016 presidential elections, to the point where you could have almost fit the difference into a crowded bar on a Saturday night. A lot of the work is about searching for this inherited, almost mythologized sense of American-ness and reconciling that political tension by finding spaces where there’s still a promise of an Eden.
One of these places is a watering hole on the outskirts of the town that my wife introduced me to when we were in university. It’s a place where many people come together with the common aim of cooling off. People end up letting their guard down and that interests me.
I’m also collaborating with my wife, video artist Andrea Orejarena to make a book out of our recently completed ‘Long Time No See’, which is a two-year collaborative exploration of the memory of the Vietnam-America War made with Vietnamese veterans and younger generations affected by chemical weapons used by the U.S. during the war.
The work focuses on a residence for veterans and the younger generations in Hanoi and it brings together photographs, drawings made by the younger generations from a workshop we hosted three times a week for two years, and dream-like video vignettes created with the veterans using animation and found footage.
See more of Caleb’s work on his website: www.caleb-stein.com and find him on Instagram: @cjbstein.