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The Real Brian Wilson

The Real Brian Wilson is a community based project created to explore the idea of individuality as it relates to one’s name. It began in late 2015 with the launch of a website (TheRealBrianWilson.org) for the Brian Wilsons of the world to interact with and share their own personal story. Through a six month long social media campaign I solicited participation from strangers that had nothing in common other than all sharing the same name. Through the submissions I came across a young writer in Northern Ireland and invited him to be a more active participant. The project was realized with an installation that encompasses a two channel video presented with a series of artifacts including a series of handwritten letters between Brian Wilson and I.

The multi-channel video presents a duality between an individual and a group of Brian Wilsons. One video shows an annual Brian Wilson meeting in which Brian Wilsons of the world meet in Scotland in a sort of ‘self help’ meeting type setting. The other video shows the lone experience of Brian Wilson in Northern Ireland who has stumbled across a radio broadcast of the Brian Wilson meeting. The lone Brian Wilson travels through the unique landscape of Northern Ireland, a country that has been struggling with its own identity since its inception.

The artifacts set up a narrative that enables the viewer to see into the project on another level, providing them with information regarding the “real” Brian Wilson as an active collaborator in the whole project.