Very happy that my first Ph.D. student successfully defended her dissertation early in June. She got an honorific mention! I’m very proud of her.
El presente trabajo es el último prototipo de la clase de Seminario de Creación Multidisciplinaria. Trata de un grupo de sobrevivientes de un apocalipsis que creen que el color rosa es su salvador. El video muestra una de sus reuniones en donde siguen protocolos específicos, como mostrar sus números de identificación, la ceremonia del té, y las reglas de la reunión. Todo esto se muestra en el primer acto.
Algo inusual pasa en la reunión ya que se descubre que hay un traidor, alguien que no le gusta el rosa. En el segundo acto entramos en un tiempo en espiral, en donde se repiten los diálogos tres veces, pero cada vez se va mostrando como el traidor se va revelando ante el grupo.
En el tercer acto se muestra que el traidor en realidad ama el color negro. Busca integrarse a un grupo que es exactamente igual al grupo del rosa, la única diferencia es que ellos aman al color negro mostrándolo al tener vasos negros en la mano izquierda en vez de tazas en la mano derecha. Este grupo acaba de dejar ir a un traidor quien en secreto amaba el color rosa. Dicho traidor físicamente es igual al traidor amante del negro. En el instante que el amante del negro pide ser aceptado en el grupo del negro, el traidor amante del rosa se integra al grupo ‘rosa’. Al no ser aceptado el amante del negro, se queda en el vacío. Se muestra al final el grupo rosa completo, se puede ver que el traidor amante del negro ha sido remplazado por un verdadero amante del rosa. Hacen un brindis final para terminar su reunión. Hasta ahora, no se sabe nada del traidor amante del negro.
The present work is the last prototype of the Seminar on Multidisciplinary Creation. It is about a group of people, survivors of the apocalypse who believe that the pink color was their savior. The video shows one of their meetings where they follow specific protocols, such as showing their i.d. numbers, a tea ceremony, and reading the rules of the reunion. All these are shown in the first act.
Something unusual happens during the reunion as a traitor is discovered, someone who does not like the pink color. During the second act we enter into spiral time, where the dialogs are repeated three times, but each time it is shown how the traitor reveals himself to the group.
The third act shows how the traitor really loves the color black. He tries to become part of a group which is exactly the same as the group who loves pink but the only difference is that they love the black color and they show it by holding black glasses on their left hands. This group just let go their traitor who in secret loved the pink color. Such traitor looks exactly the same as the one from the pink group. In the instant the lover of black is asking to be accepted in the black group, the traitor lover of pink is integrated in the pink group. When the lover of black is not accepted, he is thrown into the void. At the end the pink group is shown complete, it is shown how the traitor was replaced by a true pink lover. They do a final toast to end their reunion. Until now, nothing is known about the traitor who loved the black color.
In Collaboration with Adam Cooper-Terán, René López, Regina García, Stefano Gaudiano, Juan Arras, Paloma Rincón, y Ese Chuy
This project is about generating a space to tell the story of two of the most important mathematical events in the 20th century. The first, is Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness proof and the second is Alan Turing’s Halting problem. These two proofs are relevant because they show the limits of reason–therefore the limits of formal systems (e.g., the computer), and allow to sense the immeasurability of the infinite. The present project is not only an attempt to explain and visualize the proofs but seeks to present them within a historical and social context.
It took me more than 10 years to arrive to this result. After many conversations with friends and collaborators. I’m so happy to finally arrive to this, a full infinite circle.
We begin with the best explanation there is about the nature of numbers, that is set theory explained by Sesame Street.
Sesame Street: Fish to Infinity
Understanding numbers as sets soon takes us into problems, problems dealing with infinity. Can we have sets of infinities? Can we have larger sets with infinities? This can create paradoxes as it is shown in Russell’s Paradox.
Russell’s Librarian’s Catalog–Set Theory Paradox
Then, to understand the context and importance of Gödel and Turing’s discoveries, we can watch this documentary, clearly explaining how everything began with Cantor and his idea that there were infinities larger than others infinities.
Dangerous Knowledge BBC documentary
The exhibition continues with the original work below by Adam Cooper-Terán. It is an animation summarizing different characters and elements surrounding the historical period when the Incompleteness proof by Kurt Gödel and the Halting problem by Alan Turing were developed.
Perfect Forms by Adam Cooper-Terán
Mirror-Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Proof by Regina García
In this animation the essence of Gödel’s incompleteness proof is represented. A set of numbers represent two states at the same time. Each set represent the value of the numbers and specific phrases. With this proof, he showed that a logical system could never have all the rules required to develop arithmetic. Such system no matter what, will always be incomplete.
Adele: Gödel’s wife by Adam Cooper-Terán
This film shows Gödel’s personal life. His wife playing two roles simultaneously, as a burlesque dancer and as a housewife. The idea was to make her represent two states of mind at the same time just like the Incompleteness Proof. Gödel’s problems with food are alluded too.
We close this section with a pencil drawing summarizing Gödel’s life.
Kurt Gödel by René López
Turing’s Halting Problem by Regina García
The central idea of Turing’s Halting Problem is represented in this video. That is, Turing continues Gödel’s attempt to show the limits of reason and formal systems. Back in the early developments of modern science, a dream was born. To construct a mechanical machine that could compute for very long periods of time searching for answers to complex problems. Turing showed that it is impossible to have that. The reason is that we cannot know ahead of time whether the machine is really solving a problem or whether it is in a loop. Also, we cannot know systematically ahead of time which problems can be solved by a computer and which ones cannot.
Manuscript Found in a Pocket by Adam Cooper-Terán
In this animated video we present an adaptation of the story Manuscrito Encontrado en un Bolsillo (Maunscript Foound in a Pocket) from Julio Cortazar. We played with the idea that Alain Turing used a logical system to find romantic love within the London subway. So he will use random number cards to predict a head of time where his potential lovers will change stations, if they changed stations according to the cards, he will follow and approach them, if not, he would have to let them go.
We close this section with a pencil drawing summarizing Turing’s life.
Alan Turing by René López
Incompleto was presented as an art show at Cub0 Gallery in Ciudad Juárez. It was important to present it in November 2019 to make it a homage to the movie Blade Runner as it is set in this date. It connects with Incompleto because after Turing wrote the paper (On Computable Numbers with Applications to the Entscheidung-Problem, 1936) where he creates the Turing machine and the Halting Problem (the basis for artificial intelligence and its limits), he writes a paper in which he explores whether a machine can be as smart and capable as a human–making it impossible to distinguish between a machine and a computer (Computing Machinery and Intelligence, 1950). He explored this idea with his Turing test. Such test is emulated in Blade Runner as a test to identify androids (The novel Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968, years after Turing’s paper). At some point he was worried that computers will feel different and thus bad about themselves for not being like humans.
Megan Fox in Blade Runner
It was also important to present the exhibition in a white small cube. We designed the space so as to feel on one hand very rational, straight lines, white. But also on the other hand, we emulated the idea of a padded room from a mental asylum. Cantor and Gödel, were secluded in such places a few times. As it is stated in the documentary Dangerous Knowledge (2007), they were put there so that the rational architecture would make them come back to their senses–the very two people testing and finding the limits of reason.
Incompleto exhibition at Cub0 Gallery
The poster and program were designed to emulate the idea of an insane asylum but also dedicated to the androids who died in November 2019.
Incompleto poster and program by Juan Arras
We decided to include the idea of a revelation. Revelation as something that can surpass reason and can be more powerful. The idea was created when I told my friend Stefano Gaudiano that once upon a time when I was dancing, I had the revelation of two giants appearing and revealing a deep message. Such message can not be put into words and thus has to remain secret. This is how he interpreted this. This work was outside the gallery, as a revelation escaping reason. The drawings also lead to Incompleto as as it is itself a revelation about the limits of reason.
Revelation-Incompleto by Stefano Gaudiano
Below is some of the documentation of visitors to the event:
Visitors inside the exhibition
I would like to thank Paloma Rincón and Ese Chuy for helping me with the design of the exhibition space. And to Neida Molina y Octavio Castrejón for being space custodians.
Gabriela Durán, Paloma Rincón y Ese Chuy
For more info visit: projectspacefestivaljuarez.com
Why I consume all this shit? Technology you are extremely good to me. The easiest is to sit alone in front of you so that people who don’t love me take my money. Why I work so hard? Why I can’t cross any border? Ok computer I’m your slave. Me becoming self-conscious, escaping the algorithm. Me, far more than a formal system. The slave becomes a master.
I purge my self from you because I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I don’t want to live inside of you, I want to live in my own body with some privacy please. I want to join my community of humans and experience edges without borders. I want to be free.
This film program presents works expanding from the tension between
Labour <> Border <> Body <> A.I.
We’re presenting about 40 films from different times and places, screened on both side of the border in Juarez and El Paso. From a short seminal L.A Rebellion film of self-purifying within urban environment (Barbara McCullough’s 1978 Water Ritual #1) through 1990s AIDS-epidemic era wild and naughty queer features (John Greyson’s Zero Patience and Heinz Emigholz’s The Holly Bunch) to contemporary documentaries, art films and experimental work. Harun Farocki’s decade old examination of US remote warfare gives us a historical cinematic viewpoint close to pressing issues that Kristof Trakaland Basma Alsharifexamine within our current times, in Germany and Palestine. Miko Reverza’s journey through the US, made as an undocumented resident, Mariah Garnett’s retelling of her father’s run to exile from Belfast and Granaz Moussavi’s delicate portray of young people under oppression in Tehran, bring stories of people in transit, trapped by borders. Films by Young Joo Lee, Bertrand Mandicoand Jaakko Pallasvuoexamine what it means to be a body in surprising ways while Sejin Kimand Cana Bilir-Meiereach brings us a different true story of a poet who embodies a displacement – one as a Korean in Japan and the other a Turkish-German who self-immolate to protest German racism. Dona Harawayand Guillaume Cailleauforce us to rethink the relation between us, ‘humans’, and other species.
Guest programs by Seoul Space One(as installation), Tokyo Interdisciplinary Art Festivaland REZ Festival Belgradebring us a multitude of voices we’re not necessarily always get chance to have access to.
My former Master’s student Persia Campbell did a short film as her Master’s research project. We are happy because it was accepted this year for the El Paso film festival. I’m very proud to be part of this as director of the director 🙂
I went to the University of Arizona to give a talk last Spring (April 2019) about Identity from a perspective of Psychology, Fashion, and Art to Queer, Trans, People of Color, and 2 Spirit (QTPOC + 2SPIRIT). I was very nervous but I had a great time.
Self-fulfilling Prophecy 2018
In the middle of November 2018 we had our fantastic festival. Thanks to all participants we had a great time.
What are prophecies? Are they revealed, created, or both? Since time immemorial, humans have used them to define reality, and today more so than ever. As a result, humans are cyborg-simians badly in need of vis viva: spaces of complete freedom where reality is shaped outside globalized forces. Nominators use information to create prophecies that mold our behavior, allowing them to control it. Multitude can deform what nominators had established by escaping the globalized reality for brief instances in time. This year, Project Space Festival Juárez aims to seek true moments of freedom.
As the concept of globalization is revealed, we define ourselves as without borders or nations. Following this idea, the festival is about generating collaborations between artists from Berlin and Juárez, prophesying that everything local is global and vice versa.
Project Space Festival Juárez is a seven-day celebration taking place during the second week of November, and is the result of a collaboration with the founders of Project Space Festival Berlin.
Hardt, M. and Negri, T. (2000). Empire. Harvard University Press.
 Particular dominating forces, they can be part of governments but also corporations.
While it means ‘people’, Hardt and Negri used it because it fits better the current struggles as it is more open, indeterminate and a-telelological than the word ‘people’. A clear example of a multitude is Occupy Wall Street.
¿Qué es una profecía? ¿Puede ser revelada, creada, o las dos? Desde tiempo inmemorial, los humanos las usaban para definir la realidad, y hoy más que nunca. Por consecuencia, los humanos son cyborg-simians en gran necesidad de vis viva: espacios de completa libertad donde la realidad se forma fuera de las fuerzas globalizantes. Los nominadores usan la información para crear profecías que rigen nuestro comportamiento, permitiéndoles controlarlo. Multitud puede deformar lo que los nominadores han establecido al escapar de la realidad globalizada por periodos cortos de tiempo. Este año, Project Space Festival aspira a encontrar verdaderos momentos de libertad.
Al revelar el concepto de globalización, nos definimos a nosotros mismos fuera de fronteras y naciones. Siguiendo esta idea, el motivo del festival es generar colaboraciones entre artistas de Juárez y Berlín, profesando que todo lo local es global y viceversa.
Project Space Festival Juárez es una celebración de siete días durante la segunda semana de noviembre y es el resultado de una colaboración con las fundadoras de Project Space Festival Berlín.
Hardt, M. and Negri, T. (2000). Empire. Harvard University Press.
 Fuerzas dominantes particulares que pueden formar parte de un gobierno pero también de corporaciones.
 Mientras que significa ‘gente’, Hardt and Negri lo usaron porque refleja mejor las luchas actuales al ser más abierto, indeterminado, y a-teleológico que la palabra ‘gente’. Un ejemplo claro de multitud sería Occupy Wall Street.
Our festival this year was inspired by the book Emipire (2000) from Michael Hardt and Tony Negri. We wandered to find true places of freedom where we as a community could define our reality.
Currently Juárez is considered one of the most globalized and dangerous cities. As most of these definitions come from outside, we considered important to define ourselves and find meaning from the inside.
Este año nuestro festival se inspire en el libro Imperio (2000) de Michael Hardt y Tony Negri. Deambulamos como comunidad para encontrar lugares de verdadera libertad para definir nuestra realidad.
Actualmente Juárez es considerada una de las ciudades más globalizadas y peligrosas. Mientras que estas etiquetas vienen desde fuera, consideramos importante definirnos a nosotros mismos y encontrar significados desde dentro.
We began with a workshop with Anna Zett and PPKK (Schönfeld & Scoufaras) to activate the exhibition OU’ALL: A participatory installation for the community in Juarez to address issues of symbolic translation and alternative border handling. It involves sculptural installation, children’s games, video technology, tarot reading, astrology/astronomy, and musical improvisation. A conceptual playground was created across multiple rooms and performed by participants from the workshop and visitors.
Comenzamos un taller con Anna Zett and PPKK (Schönfeld & Scoufaras) para activar la exhibición OU’ALL: Una instalación participativa para la comunidad de Juárez atendiendo temas de traducción simbólica y formas alternas de manejar las fronteras. Esto involucra instalación escultórica, juegos de niños, video tecnología, lectura del tarot, astronomía/astrología, e improvisación musical. Un espacio de juegos conceptual se creo a lo largo de varias salas donde los participantes y visitantes interactuaron a través de un performance.
FLAMING CREATURES with Roberto Cárdenas and Israel Gómez was an accumulation of ceremonial acts—the sensation of an endless free fall: VJs, burning sculptures, cellist, interactive performances, and monsters. A suggestion of death, all deaths are our own. It was an attempt to show the magic and the terror of free spaces.
FLAMING CREATURES con Roberto Cárdenas e Israel Gómez fue una acumulación de actos ceremoniales—la sensación de una caída libre interminable: VJs, esculturas quemándose, chelista, performance interactivos, y monstruos. Una sugerencia de muerte, todas las muertes son las nuestras. Fue un intento por mostrar la magia y el terror de los espacios libres.
THE BODY IS A CAGE, THE BODY IS CAGED was a curated by Lior Shamriz. He describes the screening as:
Bodies that move and/or fail to move through the human grid, from borders to cultural mythologies of gender and class. The body is the “I”-Object, our degraded camera-obscura. Anna Zett investigates how dinosaurs came to play a pivotal role in the mythical imagination of the US, whereas Matthew Lax ironically stages what our zeitgeist dictates to be the new kind of body, the computer-generated one, a byproduct of the global hi-tech industry. Cary Cronenwett laments the death of a soulmate who dreamt of pirates navigating through gender. Jaakko Palasvuo addresses a tourist in Milan, while my characters are immigrants in Berlin with a broken sense of home. Forough Farrokhzad documents people in a leper colony, prevented from transitioning back to society. Heinz Emigholz films Robert Maillart’s beamless arched bridges as Neha Choksi crosses water on a boat of melting ice.
EL CUERPO ES UNA CARCEL, EL CUERPO ES ENCARCELADO fue curada por Lior Shamriz. El describe la muestra como:
Cuerpos que se mueven y/o fracasan al moverse a través de los ejes humanos, desde fronteras hasta mitologías de género y clase. El cuerpo es el “Yo”-Objeto, nuestra degradada cámara-obscura. Anna Zett investiga cómo dinosaurios llegaron a jugar un rol esencial en la imaginación mítica de los Estados Unidos, mientras que Mattew Lax de manera irónica pone en escena lo que el espíritu de nuestra era dicta como el nuevo tipo de cuerpo, el generado por computadora, un subproducto de la alta tecnología global. Cary Cronenwett lamenta la muerte de su alma gemela quien soñó con piratas navegando entre géneros. Jaakko Palasvuotrata el tema de un turista en Milan, mientras que mis personajes son inmigrantes en Berlín con un sentido de hogar roto. Forough Farrokhzad documenta gente con lepra atrapada en un asilo, y que no dejan regresar a la sociedad. Heinz Emigholz filma los puentes sin vigas de Robert Maillart mientras que Neha Choksi cruza agua en una lancha de hielo que se derrite.
The Body is a Cage, The Body is Caged
I was invited to give a talk at my alma mater. It was a lot of fun and I was honored to be able to talk about my development as a researcher and professor.
I’m very happy to announce that my Ph.D. student Atenas Campbell is currently a visiting research student at Leiden University, Holland.
Last Fall, I directed this project called Se despide, de lo que se perdió for a Multidisciplinary Art Class. Students worked around the concept of masculinity. It is important to mention that all students were women. They decided to capture in video masculine sadness. For that, they interviewed their male friends and recorded their faces, looking for sad expressions. Also they did a mashup out of many movies showing sad men.
The final show happened in a cantina (a bar). The decision was made based on the tendency of men going to a bar when they are sad. So in this bar called La Tuna, students installed a projector to show the video of their sad friends. Within the TV sets across the bar, they installed the mashup. Also, they created phrases using cut-up techniques, introducing elements of chance. These phrases were originally taken from the interviews with their male friends and implied some unsatisfied longing or desire. Thus, the phrases that satisfied the criteria were written, then cut into parts, then rearranged randomly to form a new phrase such as: Dondé está el amor, no sé cómo (Where is the love, I don’t know how). The phrases were written on different mirrors across the bar using lipstick.