Sometimes things get weird – and in a single transformative moment somehow become unbelievably meaningful. The Peruvians of Fab Lab Lima, especially the irrepressible Walter Gonzales, who carries the Peruvian flag with him at all times at Fab events, orchestrated this impromptu meta moment with the Fab Lab torch yesterday following the 2014 Fab Academy graduation at Fab10 in Barcelona, Spain.
From what I pieced together during the chaos of the ceremony, The torch was designed and fabricated through a collaboration between labs in Peru and Japan. The Barcelonans passed it to Sherry Lassiter during the hand off to Fab11, which will be held in Boston (and Providence by proxy) next year.
Here I stand, moments after reading the names of 70 Fab Academy graduates from every continent in the world, draped in the Peruvian flag, holding the torch that was passed to my home region, evoking Liberty Enlightening the World.
Lady Liberty, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, is a colossal neoclassical sculpture that depicts the Roman goddess of freedom, “Libertas”; a gift to the United States from the people of France in 1886. She holds both a torch and a “tabula ansata” (or tablet evoking the law) and is a global symbol of freedom, independence and welcome to weary global travelers.
As Fab Academy Dean of Students I lead the Academy’s Global Evaluation Committee, which upholds the academic standards of the Academy, while balancing, supporting and ensuring the incredible freedom that advanced personal fabrication offers via our globally distributed network of digital fabrication gurus and labs. Coupled with the coming Fab11 gathering, the announcement of the Academy of Almost Everything and our fab family reunion returning to the birthplace of Fab in Boston created an extreme meta moment, encapsulated in a single image.
I will never hear these words the same way again:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
- Emma Lazarus
Dear fabricators of Peru, I sincerely thank you for this visionary gift. I am overwhelmed.