Come out and join us at Lui Velazquez in Tijuana on Wednesday. I’ll be talking about Becoming Dragon and performing some new poetry.
Fifth session / Quita Sesion
Wednesday, May 13th, 7-9pm
charlas sobre/de… // talks by/about…
Transborder Immigrant Tool – Ricardo Dominguez and Brett Stalbaum
Becoming Dragon – Micha Cárdenas
Thighmaster – Annina Rust
Kixly – Moisés Horta
mas informacion sigue y en // more info below and at
at Lui Velazquez
Calle José Maria Larroque #273.
1ro Piso, Int. 6, Colonia Federal.
Tijuana, Baja California.
Mexico, C.P. 22 300**
directions and map at http://luivelazquez.com
Transborder Immigrant tool
The border between the U.S. and Mexico has moved between the virtual and
the all too real since before the birth of the two nation-states. This
has allowed a deep archive of suspect movement across this border to be
traced and tagged – specifically anchored to immigrants bodies moving
north, while immigrant bodies moving south much less so.
The danger of moving north across this border is not a question of
politics, but about the vertiginous geography. Hundreds of people have
died crossing the U.S./Mexico border due to not being able to tell where
they are in relation to where they have been and which direction they
need to go to reach their destination safely.
The technologies of Spatial Data Systems and GPS (Global Positioning
System) have enabled an entirely new relationship with the landscape
that takes form in applications for simulation, surveillance, resource
allocation, management of cooperative networks and pre-movement pattern
modeling an algorithm that maps out a potential or suggested trail for
real a hiker/or hikers to follow.
The Transborder Immigrant Tool would add a new layer of agency to this
emerging virtual geography that would allow segments of global society
that are usually outside of this emerging grid of
hyper-geo-mapping-power to gain quick and simple access with to GPS
system. The Transborder Immigrant Tool would not only offer access to
this emerging total map economy – but, would add an intelligent agent
algorithm that would parse out the best routes and trails on that day
and hour for immigrants to cross this vertiginous landscape as safely as
Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater
(EDT), a group who developed Virtual-Sit-In technologies in 1998 in
solidarity with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico. He is
co-Director of Thing (thing.net) an ISP for artists and activists. His
recent Electronic Disturbance Theater project with Brett Stabaum, Micha
Cardenas and Amy Sara Carroll the *Transborder Immigrant Tool* (a GPS
cellphone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/U.S border was the
winner of “Transnational Communities Award”, this award was funded by
*Cultural Contact*, Endowment for Culture Mexico – U.S. and handed out
by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico), also funded by CALIT2 and two
Transborder Awards from the UCSD Center for the Humanities.
Ricardo is an Assistant Professor at UCSD in the Visual Arts Department,
a Hellman Fellow, and Principal/Principle Investigator at CALIT2
(bang.calit2.net). He also co-founder of *particle group* with artists
Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, Amy Sara Carroll a gesture about
nanotechnology entitled *Particles of Interest: Tales of the Matter
Market* (pitmm.net) that was presented in Berlin (2007), the San Diego
Museum of Art (2008), and Oi Futuro, Brazil (2008).
Becoming Dragon questions the one year requirement of Real Life
Experience that transgender people must fulfill in order to receive
Gender Confirmation Surgery (Sexual Reassignment Surgery), and asks if
this could be replaced by one year of Second Life Experience to lead to
Species Reassignment Surgery. For the performance, Micha Cárdenas lived
for 365 hours immersed in Second Life with a head mounted display, only
seeing the physical world through a video feed, and used a motion
capture system to map her movements into Second Life. The installation
also included a stereoscopic projection that the audience could immerse
themselves in. During the year of research and development of this
project, Micha Cárdenas began her real life hormone replacement therapy
and wrote poetry about the experience which was included in the
performance of Becoming Dragon.
Micha Cárdenas / dj lotu5 / Azdel Slade is a is a transgender artist,
theorist and trouble maker. She is an MFA candidate at the University of
California San Diego. and holds a Master’s degree in Media and
Communications with distinction from the European Graduate School and a
Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Florida International
University. She is a researcher at CalIT2 and the Center for Research in
Computnig and the Arts. Her interests include the interplay of
technology, gender, sex, desire and resistance. Micha is a founding
member of a number of art/activism collectives including Sharing Is
Sexy, the borderlands Hacklab and the City Heights Free Skool. Her work
has been exhibited internationally at museums, galleries, conferences,
community spaces and public spaces.
While technologists scramble to develop technologies for the production
and storage of environmentally friendly electricity, it is also
important to address our personal role in conserving energy. Indeed,
thermodynamics shows that we can’t get energy without spending it, and
while great efficiencies may be found in energy generation, it is clear
that the most substantial way to solve the energy crisis is by reducing
While reformulating lifestyle and habits is usually thought to be the
job of media, public relations, and activism, there is no reason that
technology should not be central to how we understand, consider, and
change our own energy usage. Most of us are unable to pay close
attention to our own power consumption in our busy daily lives. Indeed,
the purpose of consumer products is to make laborious tasks as simple
and easy as possible by replacing a consumer’s own energy with
electricity or fossil fuels. As a result, it’s easy for us to avoid
personal responsibility in the global climate crisis. This can produce
feelings of guilt and self-reproach in the consumer. Project Thigh
Master is a system that alleviates this condition by assuring that
reminders to save electricity will not go unnoticed, increasing its
owner’s peace of mind by setting a penalty for environmental waste.
Started in 2005, Kixly is the solo project of TIjuana based artist
Moisés Horta Valenzuela.
Taking influence from the noisier side of shoegaze, the digital musique
concréte of Lucky Dragons and the classic studio techniques of
electronic music pioneers Steve Reich, William Basinski and Raymond
Scott, Kixly produced organic soundscapes as if created using analogue
His sound has gradually shifted in order to express religious themes,
the relation between saint worship in mexican culture and pre-hispanic
panteism, and the psychological spirits of Moisés’ family ancestry.
In 2009 he co-founded, alongside Reuben Albert Torres, the
multidisciplinary label Ni, which includes regional artists Los Macuanos
and María y José.