Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Show & Tell

I stumbled across this incredible talk by Guillermo Gomez-Peña morning and had to share it with you all. He discusses so many of the things we've been mulling over this term in such a poetic/performative/humorous/powerful manner.

I posted a few quotes below because I know everyone is busy, but I do so recommend listening if you get a chance.

Here is the link:

Radical art, radical communities, and radical dreams: Guillermo Gómez-Peña at TEDxCalArts

Here are some moments:

"I think democracy cannot thrive without the critical voice of the artists constantly testing its limits and possibilities, without the ethical mirror of art reflecting the distorted features of power."

"Since 9/11, I became obsessed with hope, with finding its spiritual source and location. Is hope a deep feeling of expansion located on the chest, the abdomen? Is it a distant marker in the horizon that directs our actions or a mysterious spiritual energy that propels you into the unknown? Is hope a matter of quantum fury? A form of poetic will? Is hope by definition illogical and unreasonable? Can hope be nurtured through education? Does hope put you at odds with the state? Will I vote in the next elections? Did you vote last week?

Unlike the presidential candidates, my hope is not connected to god, country, or economy. My hope is located somewhere else, in obscure books, films, and performances. In the small communities that exist under the radar of the media. In the political streets of our cities. In the eyes of my students. In late night conversations in a bar full of outsiders. In animal species I have never seen. In the wisdom of indigenous cultures. My hope is always located on the other side of the border, or the mirror, and in this very moment, my hope is located in your arms.”

“Is love still an option? Love in times of war, disease and global warming?  Love amidst earthquakes and floods? Under red alerts and a suspicious purple moon colored by smog and chemical waste? Is it possible to love as if 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and New Town never happened? As if America was a true democracy and an active member of the world community? Can we love as if the Patriot Act didn’t exist? As if the earth is not mortally wounded? As if we had open borders and open hearts? I think we can. Love can certainly help us continue.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Peter Morin's Cultural Graffiti in London

"Buckingham palace. thousands of people. set up the blanket. put on your armor. sing the song. the song that is a Tahltan river rushing inside of me. the drum speaks. it says 'this drum supports indigenous voice.' the drum beats are bullets. does anyone know this? (only me.) sing the song. fall down and sing the song into the land. drum and sing around the monument. overheard conversations: 1. I think he thinks he's an Indian. 2. shhhh. this is an indigenous performance. i also hear applause." Peter Morin, 2013

"We are alive, we remain, we are vibrant, you did not win." Morin, 2013

"Peter Morin produces art that honors his home and the stories, words and songs of his people from the traditional territory of the Tahltan Nation. His work animates the histories of indigenous objects and connects with the ancestors of these objects through different modes of performance: song, stand-up comedy and oration. His art is a record of his ongoing process of understanding and practicing his culture and language. His voice is Tahltan. It comes from the land." (Bio as it appears in Cultural Graffiti in London: Singing life into exhibitions and embodying the digital document by Helen Gilbert)

In his 2013 project Cultural Graffiti in London, Morin performed Tahltan songs in semi-traditional clothing directly into the land and architecture of various monuments in London, such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Princess Diana's Memorial Fountain and the alleged grave of Pocahontas.

"Monuments perform, provoking viewers to think about the past and often involving the audience in a social bond intended to instill historical consciousness." Mechtild Wildrich (from aforementioned manuscript)

His belief is that these songs leave their mark on the monuments in the same way as graffiti, but perhaps even more subversively so, because they cannot be removed. "This sonic rebellion against the hegemonic exercise of colonial power involved an assertion of cultural resistance that often ended with the statement 'we are still here.'" (Gilbert)

The Artist Sings: Peter Morin in Conversation  (Video)

For more info:

Cultural Graffiti in London: Singing Life Into Exhibitions

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Show & tell

Ricardo Dominguez - Floodnet - Electronic Disturbance Theatre

Electronic Disturbance Theatre
An electronic company of cyber activists, critical theorists, and performance artists 
organize and program computer software to show their views against anti-propagandist and military actions. They believe that the internet should not be used purely as a means for communication and data exchange. Instead it is also a forum for direct action.

Why Electronic Disturbance THEATRE?

Basic idea taken from street theater practices/political rallies/protest/sit-ins but present it on a much larger and international stage, with the facilitation of macro-networks and non-digital forms of action

Electronic Civil Disobedience (ECD)
Term coined by Critical Art Ensemble - seeks to continue the practices of non violent, yet disruptive protest in electronic means

Ricardo Dominguez
Member of Critical Art Ensemble --> founded EDT --> principal investigator at Calit2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology) at UC San Diego --> Associate professor of visual arts at UC San Diego (now)

The Flood Net 
- A computer-based program (available for download) and participatory website-jamming network, which allowed anyone with an internet connection to gum up the official sites of the US Border Patrol, White House, G8, Mexican embassy, and others, rendering them inaccessible.
- Works on the same basis as a real sit-in, where the protesters block the entrance to a public building of their oppressors and preventing access to the building.

Virtual Sit-In against Zapatista's oppressors
(Zapatista: a Mexican revolutionary leftist political and militant group)
Distributed Denial-Of-Service attack (DDOS)- during a virtual sit-in, hundreds of activists attempt to access a target website simultaneously and repetitively. If performed correctly, this will cause the target website to run slowly or even collapse entirely, preventing anyone from accessing it.

In response to the political assassination of Zapatista teacher Jose Luis Solís López, EDT's web browsers sent mass amounts of page requests to the server of the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, filling their error logs with lines of text drawn from Don Quixote, communiques from the Zapatista Communities, as well as from texts authored by the Critical Art Ensemble

Transborder Immigrant Tool
- By augmenting a low-cost Motorola phone with GPS and a battery of applications, EDT's goal is to help illegal immigrants complete safe border crossings by directing heavy-footed immigrants to safe routes, shelter, food, water, and friendly sympathizers. 
- "There's another teacher here at UCSD, Brett Stalbaum, who really enjoys traveling in the desert, but he has no sense of direction, so he developed what we call a Virtual Hiker Tool—a GPS you can wear on your wrist that always coordinates the most beautiful view, the most beautiful way to go, on the day you're traveling."

- Pay phone connected to a free Skype system - when Homeland Security drops Mexican laborers back over the Mexican border, the pay phone is right there for them to call home or wherever they want

"It's all interconnected—from the Critical Art Ensemble, to electronic disturbance, to the work I'm doing at BANG Lab today. It's all a single matrix of investigation and performance, which is quite fruitful in its horizons in an unexpected way."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Critical Art Ensemble

Critical Art Ensemble is a collective of five tactical media artists formed in 1985 in Tallahassee, Florida. Tactical Media is a form of interventionist media art that engages and critiques the dominant political and economic order.

They have authored seven books that have been translated in 18 languages and have been active internationally through Museums like Whitney Museum and The New Museum in NYC; The Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C.; The ICA, London; The MCA, Chicago; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; The London Museum of Natural History and Documenta.

Interested in Biotechnology, they have done a lot performances dressed up as scientists, usind basic high school lab equipment and household supplys to make their experiments understandable for a larger public.

Their work has focused on different social issues like U.S. policy on HIV, agricultural labour relations, the global food trade system and more recently the US defense policy.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Message to employers- Salty

Uploading this as it relates to one of my three ideas to talk about in class. Will be easier for all of you to visualise when I talk about it.