Item 9


Within thinking about our project, Grace and I looked to consider common experiential spaces we both have had representing our adolescence. Sitting in the passenger seat of a car reminds me of moments when my dad, or family, would try to give me advice or instill knowledge upon me. Sometimes it was as space of disputes or shared laughs as I would be getting dropped off or picked up from school. It was a space where I was forced to listen to Konpa music against my will, or told to change my music I was playing because it “wasn’t good.”

Within my family, having intimate, honest conversations with adults is uncomfortable, but the car ride became a space of almost forced, private conversation. Sometimes I’d want to duck and roll out of the speeding car to avoid having a conversation on the “birds and the bees”. Now that I’m older, I am capable of driving myself to places, but I miss the Konpa music. I see my driving as a moment of reflection on all the previous moments I’ve had before that have made me who I am.


I grew up very religious in a Korean Presbyterian church. On my car rides, my mom would pray for my sister and me, praying for smaller things like school days to bigger things like our health. I always thought I was able to see my mom’s vulnerabilities and her concerns when she prayed in the car. When I started to drive, I no longer had anyone to pray for me in the car. Similar to Sam, the car was symbolic as a rite of passage. My mom and I would cry, argue, and cry. The car became a space of vulnerability.

Growing up, I went on multiple road trips, often pilgrimages to other cities that had Korean groceries, Korean beauty salons, and Korean restaurants. Because I was raised in Tennessee, connection and access to Korean culture outside of church was scarce until you drove far. Cars are reflective of transition particularly of growing up and finding somewhere you belong.

to add to

Jason and Jenna Greenberg:

Object #9 (Car collage) • Vaporwave aesthetics--> Color and collage • Round-trip to the past/heritage • Korean signage--> road sign • There is no one landscape in this collage--> nature, cities, PINK ROAD • Cartoon--> Looks like a magnifying glass? • "I like driving around myself" • Elementary school memories of my dad driving us to school in his old Honda minivan, but he has never been the kind of person to bring up conversation like that with each other. • He never played music in the car though, because of that, my sister and I developed out own music taste from the people and things around us. • Car ride to Hebrew school and my sister practicing her Hebrew because she didn’t do her homework the night before--> Then our mom or dad would make fun of our inflections of pronunciation--> religion wasn't a big aspect of our life growing up. • Because of this, we feel like the car was not a space of vulnerability • It just felt routine to us and just a pas time for smaller passive conversations. • Sometimes though a lot of the car ride is just out mom yelling out our dad about his poor driving skills haha

Diane Kim:

Being in a car with a parent (or both parents) can be very insightful – it’s a confined space that feels intimate. This reminds me of long car rides that my parents would take to drive me back and forth from TN🡪BOS🡪NY or whatever the fuck. We would go long stretches without really talking, then get really involved in deep conversations gossiping about church, about Hayle’s school friends/school problems, my friends, anything. My parents are great to talk to during car rides because we generally share the same opinions on things – I have lots of memories of my mom or dad looking at me using the rearview mirror while laughing at a joke I had made or a funny story I had told. This also reminds me of when I would have a lot of anxiety going somewhere with my mom driving – a violin audition, a piano lesson I hadn’t practiced for, the SAT – and my mom looking back at me with the rearview mirror telling me “긴장 풀어! 괜찮을거야!” and instantly making me feel a tiny bit better.

Briah Denizard:

My dad always controlled the music during our family car rides, which means it was always Kompa music. My sister and I would rebel and listen to our music on our CD players or mp3s. Now as I’m older, I find myself listening to Kompa on my long drives when I’m feeling homesick.



ok most times i love it when I am alone in the car with my parents I feel like we get to talk about anything and i agree it's a place to practice vulnerability. Particularly these talks are with my mother and usually when she drives me to and from school, and they often provide sensations similar to therapy and we sit and analyze everyone and everything. Some are good and some make me cry :) some topics in the past:

why it is reasonable that I could still resent my older brother

why my twin hates me

why I hate my twin

the family tree and who I am NOT related too

my dad and his lack of sibling relationships

my brothers being clones of my dad

my anger towards religion

ha ha death :)

my "inappropriate" use of Instagram

family secrets I can't tell anyone and that my brothers don't even know (women carry the family weight and that's on Joeseph Gorden Levitt.)

womanhood and vulgarity

my mother explaining her life story and me understanding that she probs need religion to not fall apart :/ compassion: can it be passed down(?)

things we don't talk about:

the birds and bees and if there are any birds/bees in one's life no no no! Will I show up one thanksgiving married with three kids .. stay tuned ;)

there's more i'm sure but essentially car rides are no longer for chit chat! also, I can't drive which makes this a more common occurrence but I don't mind and I truly think it is the time I and my mother can be the most honest with ourselves. now I wonder what her reflections are like when we have these talks and she drives back alone.

Leili Tavallaei:

I feel like my entire childhood could be summed up in all the moments I was in a car. Cars are literally sacred spaces for me. Bismillahe rahmane rahim. Remember to say it. My dad would ask me this every time we were about to leave, mumbling the rest of his surehs every morning and every evening in the car. Sometimes we’d say them together. I loved driving with him at night. After prayer we’d turn on npr and listen to ted talks and I would feel so lucky to have a smart dad who was teaching me everything about the world. He’d answer all my questions or we’d theorize about the stuff he didn’t know. We’d get into debates about anything and everything and they would never really make sense but it felt good to have this moment with him. Sometimes we would get to our destination and just sit in the car continuing the conversation for an hour. I learned my times tables in the backseat and I learned how to THEORETICALLY beat up boys if they said something inappropriate to me. He would blast ‘cant get you outta my head’ by kylie minogue and we would sing it as loud as we could. He’d tell me stories about his childhood and his car rides as we drove the highways on the way to pick up my mom from work. Any important moment in my childhood was preceded by a car ride.

‘my place’ became ‘my parents' place’ when my dad drove me to the airport for college. That car ride my dad told me he had taught me everything I needed to know. We listened to npr softly in the background and he told me how excited he was and how proud he was. Now I barely know what the back of a car feels like. There's something in there, some deeply rooted emotions. When im in a car I’m immediately nostalgic and find myself thinking about my dad and his mumbled surehs.


For my dad, long car rides with him was pretty much the only time I could talk to him. He was always busy at work or watching the TV. I would ask him about his childhood or what he thought about certain things. Sometimes we would get in really heated arguments.

My sister and I sat in the backseat all the way until… we are still sitting in the back. I feel like sitting in the back makes me feel like I’m still a child. I feel protected by who is driving. And I think I still prefer to sit in the back as opposed to the passenger because it takes me back.

Jasmine Park:

Road trips always felt like something so unique to my place in America. This sounds absurd and pompous, but within the confines of our car and the default 7 hours to my dad’s family in Virginia and the default 3 hours to Atlanta, it felt specific to our Asian American family. It was an experience I could share with others in our immediate community, but something my mom’s family in Korea didn’t understand and something my dad’s family in Virginia didn’t understand either.

Karryl Eugene:

Lol I know yall hate white people, butttttt Eric White came to mine when I saw yall car collage. I feel your adding in more enriching content than he is doing but compositionally yall are in conversation. He did a lot of paintings from this car perspective.

Makes me think offfffff

-Road Trips from Florida to NYC during the holidays when I first moved to Florida. It felt like I was understanding life outside of these two places and the inbetween of suburban life to city life, it was a wild gradual progression.

-def agree when it came to soca music I use to hate that shit and felt stuck in the car with it but i'm so thankful for those moments now because there is power in knowing your culture, especially when so much things in life tries to distract you from it and wipe away your history.

-Me and my dad would sit in the car and listen to hip hop/reggae music. It was my first digestion into music and wanting to explore it. You don’t realize how much those memories shape u and wants to come back into your life as a choices moving forward especially when creating. -A lot of the sound tags/ samples I hear in reggae and soca music I want to bring up in my mixes.

I relate to grace when it comes to my mom in the car. She listens to a lot Joel Osteen

Rachel Kwon:


This digital collage along with the words written by both Sam and Grace reminds me of my trips to North Carolina every summer with my family. Every summer my family and I would spend 8 and a half hours together driving in the car from New Jersey. I remember fighting with my sister’s listening to my parents’ talk and a lot of my parents’ favorite music. Because of these times in the car with my family, I remember the music, and whenever I’m feeling homesick I listen to my parent’s favorite music to think of them.


Callie Louis:

It looks like you guys are time traveling into the past since the photos through the windshield are child pictures and the photos in the rear view mirror are older versions of you ladies. The past looks cool lol like a good time. I am intrigued by the open door in the magnifying glass? I can’t make out what exactly is going on in that frame.