Espacio Comunal – at Espacio Odeón

Between November 2021 and September 2022, I coordinated the first year of programming of Espacio Comunal, an initiative of Espacio Odeón that seeks to generate spaces for meeting, learning and caring. Through a distributed self-management and flexible structures, this project aims to promote the development of collective processes focused on artistic practices, as well as to encourage dialogue between different cultural agents. Here you’ll find workshops, laboratories, assemblies and fairs that propose other ways of inhabiting a common space through dance, cooking, sewing, gardening, conversation and parties, among others. The working axes of Espacio Comunal are: food sovereignty / emancipation of the body / affective encounters / regenerative economy / dissent and rebellion.

During 2022 Espacio Comunal had two programming cycles of four months each: the first between March and June and the second between July and November. The transition between one cycle and the next was marked by a fair where all the collectives that have developed projects in Espacio Comunal participate. The guiding question during both cycles of 2022 is: How do the bodies in movement feed themselves?

To learn more about this initiative, you can visit the following link:

Garage School vol. Fermentation — with laagencia at Rib

During August 2020 laagencia* and I developed the Garage School vol. Fermentation as a summer lab at Rib in Rotterdam (NL). This school proposed a critical exploration of our intimate relation with the microcosmos of bacteria, focused on the biopolitical dimension of fermentation processes and the transformations they entail. During one month the escuela ran as a free and open program for anyone to join at any moment, opening its doors for cooking, researching, drifting, and eating together with the neighbors of Charlois in the south of Rotterdam. Through a series of practical experiments with multiple techniques and ingredients, this escuela engaged with the entangled experiences of fermentation that are situated in stories of food, migration, and colonialism. The process and living foods that resulted from the school—such as sourdough bread starters, ginger beer, kombucha, kimchi, honey wine, banana wine, and mulled jenever—were shared and distributed at Rib’s storefront throughout the month of August, and at the closing full moon feast on September 2nd, 2020. Finally, we made 100 copies of a collaboratively-made publication gathering texts, recipes, and ideas from the school. The book was printed at Varia and the PDF version can be viewed and downloaded here.

*laagencia is an art collective composed of the shared efforts and work of Mariana Murcia, Santiago Pinyol, Sebastián Cruz, Diego García, and Mónica Zamudio. 

ArtBox Digital — art+technology from the global south

Organized by Trias Culture, with the support of international partners and curators including me, the ArtBox Digital initiative aimed to support and connect a new generation of digital artists from Africa and Latin America, strengthening their artistic practices through exchanges such as exhibitions, talks, laboratories, and residencies. The initiative granted awards to stimulate creativity, research, and experimentation of new artistic languages around technology. The award and associated actions aimed at expanding south-to-south dialogues based on the idea that digital culture and art is experienced, produced, and thought of differently in the global south.

For the first edition of the award, Nathan Gates—the winning artist from South Africa—obtained a residency at Plataforma Bogotá, an interactive media lab for art, science and technology, in Colombia. On top of providing him with the opportunity to create and develop his research, Nathan developed an interactive laboratory called “This speed has weight” during one month and a half with local artists and designers, proposing to explore the materiality of the internet through experimentation with sensors, physical computing, and critical interface design. To read more about the process and results of this laboratory, click here.

To know more about the initiative, click here.

Silent Crisis with Faluda Islam — at KB

Silent Crisis was a night of speculative queer performances, where Faluda Islam (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) was center stage. Navigating a series of complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory identities, Faluda Islam recontextualizes cultural referents from his Pakistani and Lebanese heritage, his islamic religion, and queer culture, offering alternative readings that oscillate between the violent and the erotic, the decolonial and the forbidden. His performance in Colombia was highly relevant, as the right had recently launched the so-called “gender ideology” as a rhetoric based on the negation of sexual and gender diversity. Faluda’s performance was followed by performances by Kika Burns, Hellvira, and Mis Amigas Drag, challenging paradigms of oppression and violence.

Held on January 27, 2017 at KB (Bogotá, Colombia)

Phantom mission — at R/SF

The Latino and Chicano communities of San Francisco were at the epicenter of the transformation of the Mission District into one of the most important artistic, musical and creative hubs during those decades. However, the historical origins of this iconic neighborhood and its local artists are slowly being erased by gentrification, as murals and local art spaces are either turned into touristic fetishes or replaced with the aesthetics of the tech-industry fueled hipsterism. Most of its oldest inhabitants are currently fighting against evictions and severe segregation.

Phantom Mission was a time traveling machine designed to chase the elusive histories of the times that made the Mission into what it now is. The show didn’t aspire to be a nostalgic time capsule into a time past, but rather a way to actualize the past into the present, and travel into a space in history that is currently being displaced from people’s collective imaginary. Dogpaw Carrillo, an artist born in the Mission in the 1950’s, is the mind behind this show. Having lived in the Mission all his life, his artwork and collections speak to the history of this neighborhood and the ways in which is has changed through time. Along with photographs by Doug Johnson, a San Francisco based artist since the 1960’s, we showed projections of concerts relevant to the era, a liquid light show on the ceiling, a collection of posters and objects, and a talk between Juan Pablo and Dogpaw.

Held on April 9th, 2016 at R/SF (San Francisco, USA)

in/tensión — at the San Francisco Art Institute

In/tensión was a series of events held at the San Francisco Art Institute on Tuesday, Nov. 24th, 2015, which dealt with the concept of displacement in relation to narratives of memory and territory in the Bay Area. The artistic proposals, ceremonies, and the panel discussion critically explored the historical forces that shape the region, seeking to create and preserve spaces where silenced narratives can be listened to.

The day started with a land acknowledgment from David Smith, leader of the Manchester Point Arena Pomo reservation, and Catherine Herrera, an Ohlone artist. The day continued with three exhibitions showcasing projects around displaced historical narratives from multiple contexts. Finally, we came together in a panel discussion between different local voices surrounding indigenous and latino art and history in the Bay Area. To finish, members of the Ohlone and Pomo indigenous communities held a healing ceremony.

These events happened two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, highlighting the persistence of alternative historical narratives in a time of corporate monopoly over resources and information.