CENTROPIA project

Is an ongoing project that started with my perception of South American superstructure--militarism as a patriarchal power, religion as a colonial representation, and excess that is represented as baroque, and ultimately as madness--as a starting point. The origin of Centropia centers on a book that I found on the street in Santiago, Chile ( written in the 1960s). This book containing more than 200 drawings, teaches police how to control and arrest people. More info in PDF format.

External links:: Exhibit Centropia1 Praxis Gallery NYC |

 

El Santo del Mantel / The Table cloth Saint / Part of the Centropia series.

El Santo del Mantel was created as part of a contemporary art workshop that I directed in Puebla and Mexico. The character was created based on the problems of underemployment represented by the "memela"; improvised restaurants spread all around the city. The type of tablecloths used—colorful, plastic, inexpensive fabric, distinguishes the "memelas" ; With the tablecloth used as fabric, a hero/saint was created to promote a public discourse about violence and exclusion. The tablecloth is perceived as geography. The geography of tablecloth reveals something about the economic landscape, underemployment, social layers, and identity. Extended info in PDF format.

External links:: Car in Profetica | Exhibit Arquetopia

                           
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Bon Dieu Bon project / origin of the project

In Collaboration with anthropologist Lori Le, Bon Dieu Bon is an ongoing research project about Haitian migration. Based on an abandoned backpack left onshore by an immigrant, the project attempts to understand the immigration process through the objects that were accumulated before and along the journey and then left behind. More info in PDF format.

 

Bon Dieu Bon project nº1 / a journey through suspension.

For this series, the vantage point to observe Haitian migration was initiated with studio photograph portraits found near the shore or in the woods of the US Virgin Islands, where they were thrown aside by the owners as they ran from migration police. These photographs become physical witnesses as they are transmogrified (distorted and transformed), by the effects of salt wate and exposure to the sun and rain. They become symbolic witnesses of migrants' identities or others' identities in transformation. In that context we understand the photo studio performance as the initial journey, as the denial of chaotic reality and the active self-construction of their own imaginary and utopic ideal. The act of taking the portrait ultimately becomes simultaneously an act of memory, leaving the resulting images for others to remember him or her and imagine his/her future, through this desire of a journey to the landscape painted as background. Ultimately the photographs are an act of resistance, where people take control over their own construction of identity.

                                                   
 

Bon Dieu Bon project nº2 / School chalkboards in Haiti

This is a series of photographs portraying chalkboards in different educational establishments in Haiti.

 

Carreau de Terre / Land

Carreau de Terre, In Haiti, a carreau de terre is a unit of land, approximately 1.29 hectares (approximately 3.19 acres). This series of photos are based on a property near the town of Jacmel, in a community called Cybadier. This project registers all the occupants that share that land and find forms to negotiate the use of it. This series of photographs functions as an inventory of the tenants and the ways that they re-negotiate the space as a portrayal of the human scale structures adapted to their reality and capabilities. Carreau de Terre explores the material culture, the system of labor, and ultimately portrays economic survival and communal resistance.

                           
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Aschoy project nº1

Aschoy was founded in 2007 in the city of La Paz-Bolivia. ASCHOY is a collective group that researches and produces various forms of art from the standpoint of popular culture as the source for a horizontal dialogue on the process and the creation of arts. The collective activates and participates with various groups like shoeshiners, hairdressers, embroiderers, musical bands, music instrument makers, street photographers, artisans, couturieres, prisoners, and day laborers to collectively create art manifestations. ASCHOY assimilates the "CHOJCHO" aesthetic as a genuine and original "avant garde " manifestation, which is the result of the social and cultural clash between the original culture confronting the western dominant culture, "CHOJCHO" then becomes a syncretic expression that embraces a range of manifestations. This aesthetic is particularly visible in the city of La Paz- Bolivia. More info pdf.

 

Aschoy project nº2 / Steet photography studio

Collaboration with Don Apollinar, street Photographer and day workers Mercado Yungas, La Paz - Bolivia.
Mr. Escobar is one of the last in the city of La Paz to take photos using a German Tessar 1250 camera, Tessar. This "minute camera" is a self-sufficient unit that allows the photographer to produce a negative and develop the image inside the camera to produce a black and white image.

External links:: Independent print projects, a collaboration with Pepe Coronado.

                           
 

Aschoy project nº3 / The mask of the shoeshiner

The mask can be seen playing several roles in the Andes region: in rituals, at carnival; but also as a manifestation in the socio-political fabric. The mask of the shoeshiners in La Paz, Bolivia is particularly distinctive. Since the economic debacle of the mid 1980's, caused by the drop in price of the major export of that country—tin, former young professionals left their houses in desperation to work on the streets, many of them as shoeshiners. Because this unspecialized labor was seen as a lower-class occupation, they covered their faces with masks.

 

Aschoy project nº4 / The "Aparapitas"

Geography of labor. This piece is based upon the text "El Aparapitas de la Paz", by Saenz. This piece is a street action, where an aparapita (from Aymara, translates to "the one who loads"), carries a container with wings from the market to downtown. The container is full of red paint that is being dropped as the aparapita walks through town. The image of the aparapita is forced to be confronted and become visible to the bystanders because of the big wings that he carries and the traces of paint left behind. The aparapita becomes a fictional figure during his walk, another baroque iconic subject of the transhumance in the city.

                           
 

Aschoy project nº3 / Photographs

The following photographs are part of an ongoing research about "the Chojcho" aesthetic. The following series were taken during a wrestling match in "El Alto" La Paz Bolivia

 

Heroes and Virgins / Research on the Andes

This collaborative photographic performance was executed in Lima - Peru, with Peruvian artist Olga Engelman. The performance consisted of interacting with people in the public space, where the audience chooses from a series of masks silkscreened with the faces of influential Peruvian heroes and popular virgins to wear for the camera. Heroes includes: Almirante Grau, Sta Rosa de Lima, Tupac-Amaro, Bolognesi, Micaela Bastidas, St. Martin, Simon Bolivar, Jose Olaya. Places where we photographed: Miraflores Market, the church of the Virgin del Carmen in Lima, the beach from Morrillos to Miraflores.

                         
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Installation / interactive

This is a selection of installations and interactive projects from 2004 to now. Personal work and collaborative projects.More info in PDF format.

External links:: the daily settlement Project pdf

 

New media performance

Series of projects executed as media perfomance including use of projection and sensors in collabotaion with musical ensembles. Extended info in PDF format.

                           
                                       
 

Video work one channel

Selection of one channel video production.

External links:: Undocumented in FREEWAVE Festival Archive | Videos in Caixa Forum Mediateca Barcelona - Spain | Information videography in the archive of Videobrasil online.

 

Media projects in progress

Series of research projects about media, media experiments and .

                           
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TRANSFER project

Artists Janet Cook-Rutnik and Edgar Endress and anthropologist Lori Lee Transfer attempts to evoke critical thinking about the processes of migration in the islands and encourages people to explore the history and the present nature of migration in the Virgin Islands. A central focus of the project is the transfer of the islands from the Danish to the United States in 1917. More info in PDF format.

External links:: Transfer Project web page | Transfer project in ARC Magazine

 

The Nivakle project

The following series of photographs are part of a project of documentation of the Nivakle community in the Chaco, as they struggle with their relationship with Mennonite colonists and with the results of climate change. More info in PDF format.

                           
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Floating Lab Collective

During 2007 I co-founded "Floating Lab Collective" which is a group of metropolitan DC-based artists working collectively on performances, media art and research. The main idea is to expand the space of art into public space and to expand the discourse about contemporary art. The participating artists are a dynamic and flexible group that expands and contracts in size depending on the piece to be executed. The pieces are labeled as (e)xperiments, and they focus on different aspects of our society (political, economic, social, etc...)

External links:: FLC main web page | Collective White House project

 

Texts available online

External links:, reviews, essays, interviews.