Joe Galarza is a visual artist and musician who grew up in El Sereno, an area of Los Angeles surrounded with gang violence and much self-hate. He is a painter, muralist, sculptor, musician, instrument maker and an arts educator. Joe teaches at community centers and correctional facilities with youth and strives to bring resources through the arts that can serve for a better alternative. His goal is to share with them that they can change and endeavor toward self-determination for a better future despite any odds they face. When Joe is not playing the role of teacher, he plays bass for internationally known music group AZTLAN UNDERGROUND, which has toured throughout the United States, Spain, France, Basque country, Mexico, Australia, Venezuela, Canada, and throughout Indian Country using music as an educational tool to empower community.
This large-scale piece (30inx48in) is a dedication to the environmental beauty that Puerto Rico has to offer. The surrealist aspect of this piece can be seen in the mountainous image of mother Earth absorbing sunlight and feeding it to the mangrove tree, offering life to the flora and fauna in the image. The tank in the image holds a heavy history for the people of Puerto Rico, particularly that of the occupation of the US military in the small island of Vieques, where waste, land mines and tanks are still present and were never removed, to the point where certain parts of the island are blocked off to the local residents who call the island home. This tank is only an example of the reign of the US over Puerto Rico. The image shows the tank covered in indigenous taino symbols, along with the puertorican flag, as a message of hope for a future where our natural environment is loved and protected and the people are free of symbols of US colonization. Particular mention is made of the turpial, boa puertorrique~na and the puertorican parrot, visible on the branches of the tree, as endemic and endangered species of the island. Oil on canvas.
My Home is Not For Sale
This piece depicts recent occurrences within the island of Puerto Rico, involving the naming of the leaders of the Fiscal Control Board and the movement of US government toward constructing beach front hotels on the island, to bring in tourism and increase revenue. This process would devastate the natural environment of the island and put many endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna at risk. Many puertoricans have protested these actions and have been exposed to aggression by police officials in the process. The three figures in the image are Pedro Albizu Campos, Lolita Lebron and Ramon Emeterio Betances, famous nationalist activists who fought for the rights of Puerto Rico. They can be seen raising their fists in protest at a White hand holding an excavation vehicle. Oil on canvas.
This piece was created on May 1st of 2017, as a symbol of solidarity with Puerto Rico, during a day of protest against the Fiscal Control Board. On this day, one of the biggest topics of protest was that of the threat to invade natural environments, such as beach fronts and natural reserves, to establish hotels and other tourism attractions. This initial protest was not the first of many, but simply one of the multiple protests against the US government attempting to take control of Puerto Rican lands and social workings, reaching back a century. Since the establishment of the Fiscal Control Board, a number of hospitals and schools have also been closed down, leaving many jobless. The image of a racially ambiguous figure, painted in black, with a star to symbolize the black and white flag of resistance, reaches ocean blue, as mangroves grow into an afro-like canopy, surrounded by bright yellow. The figure holds its head high in opposition.
Ambiente y Crisis/ Environment and Crisis
A class I took on environmental sociology touched on the topic of pollution to beach fronts, as hotels and other structures rise to increase tourism. The piece depicts a beautiful beach scenery with a woman symbolizing the different types of ancestry that make up Puerto Rican culture and Latin ethnicity, with roots grown into the ocean, as the threat of pollution and deforestation approaches. The figure is in position to push up off the rock, as branches grow into wings so that she can fly away from the environmental crisis. This image expresses the multifaceted issue of environmental threats, along with the people of the island’s population decreasing, leaving the island vacant for companies that seek to build more structures, destroy natural habitats and continue increasing pollution. This image also points to the feelings many experience of inability to stop what is occurring.
Nicole Olivieri Pagán (ElociN) is a Latinx artist and activist originally from Puerto Rico, currently residing in Camden, NJ. Although they have expertise in many art forms, their favorite mediums are ink, oil paint, nature photography, acrylic and linoleum print work. Through these mediums Nicole expresses their love for Puerto Rico and its people, as well as topics of environmental and social injustice, and inequality, with subtle hints of surrealism. Currently, Nicole is studying psychology, while working directly with youths in North Camden. Through it all, their artistic expression continues to expand, hopefully conveying a great need for social change. Art/ Arte de ElociN.
laughing, my mother recounts when she was young, playing in the fields, she’d find splintered indigenous artifacts secreted in the dirt, the soil spreading its chismes, second-nature-like, my mother toyed the entombed back into childhood, doubling the earth as belly yet playground, crypt yet sandbox, vault yet open fields, death yet
had she only known, she speculates, museums would have paid unimaginable amounts to have the severed relics archived omphalically in Madrid, and i wonder what games she played as a child, if not those involving conquerors and losers who unlatch the ground to submerge their arrowheads and armaments
i long for a toy chest, desperately trying to unsurface the playthings buried in my body, for memories of an alternate past, one that does not involve conquerors, or losing our remains, beneath the doubled land
i am sepulchered, naïve as my mother in her youth
these men offer themselves that we might measure our sanity by the inkblots they bear as faces, universally met with repulsion; by way of a joke my mother makes the prognosis:
The Sun and the Moon are talking one day / The Sun complains to the Moon how ugly humans’ faces are / The Moon laughs / disagrees / tells how every night She sees so many smiles looking up / one vast garden, She explains / The Sun, confounded, retorts / complains how each face He is greeted with / resembles rather a scrunched up ball of paper…
socrates’ man walked out in daytime he knows not of moon-cycle calendars so what does it mean to “do time” is it an enlightened state of knowing that the hands of white clocks throw up the most feared gang signs that odysseus’ sirens are still seizing men off the corner with “reason” as our only conviction left
Javier Perez is a Salvadoran-American poet, teaching artist and PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town. He is co-founder of Swarthmore College’s spoken-word collective OASIS (Our Art Spoken in Soul); project manager of the Cape Town-based collective, Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement; and co-founder of the CYPHER (Cape Youth Poetry Hub for Expression & Rhythm). Javier’s work appears in Acentos Review, New Contrast Literary Journal, Apricity Press, Puerto del Sol, and more. Javier’s manuscript was selected as a finalist for the Center for the Book Arts’ 2017 Chapbook Program. He is recipient of the Thomas J Watson Fellowship (2013-14), Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (2012-13), and Roosevelt Institute Fellowship (2013).
Seven Steps to Coming Out as an Unapologetic Xingonx Incest Survivor
1 Become firmly grounded in this knowledge: YOU ALREADY SURVIVED THE WORST!
2 Remove your physical body from the protect your family even when your ~familia~ doesn’t value your right to safety abyss.
This may require several attempts
Trust your feet.
Trust your intuition.
Trust the spirits.
3 Build a household in The Borderlands: Brown Child, Sexual Abuse Survivor Edition.
4 Freely exist in this grim multiverse. Become void of time, live outside of certainty you’re releasing every pre-existing notion of reality. Resist rushing this process
PSA: Delicious post-PTSD lucidity is exclusively accessible in the Unrelenting Heat and Ice Storms epilogue portion of said frontera.
5 You will em(body) simultaneous rageshame and unapologetic survivorship. If you hold these feelings tenderly becoming the self::parent you needed in
childhood becomes a cinch.
6 Abandon all hope to live a ‘normal life’. Normal = silence Your silence ≠ healing
7 Become disciplined in the art of forever remembering your BodyMemoriesMortalFearFlashbacks TriggersAnxietyPhysiologicalDisregulation ChronicllnessesDesperationHeartPalpations PTSDAutoImmunityMigrainesNightmares
PROTIP: After the mess comes the light. Your meticulously obscured heartaches and shame compile themselves into a slideshow of betrayals. You will bleed this will save your life eventually.
8 Praxis makes perfect.
nighttime phantasy about my phantom penis
awakened, i’m levitating ride hard, easy rider
the messiah. a lion i keep hxr. still distracted,
a transitory loneliness.
Do i think if i cry,
aren’t we the chosen people?
come into this unit, like a slippery slope i unravel, reveal
a soft head.
walk on water,
i hear hym say.
Mikaela Miguel (pronounced mee-KY-el-ah mee-gual) is a Two-Spirit Shamxn, Activist and Creator whose gender is an amalgamation of radical Trans and Xicanx cultura. In 2015 they alchemized Ihiyotl, a decolonized community healing practice centering the emotional needs of QTPoC & trauma survivors. Mikaela’s work at Ihiyotl is grounded in their belief liberation is only possible when the entire Self is engaged. Mikaela began disassembling the heteropatriarchy in 2017 via the Trans is Magick Collective, a Trans PoC lead art collective building visibility and resilience through celebration.
Peep them smoking mugwort & predicting the future in occupied Lenape territory, commonly known as New York City.
Locations, art vs human, the fracture between the art economy and people, the careless way institutions are indebting young artists who are overqualified and underskilled, the narrative of white male artists as genius, buzzwords, false engagements, how to decolonise ur life in quick easy steps lol, decolonising the white cube, a romanticised notion of art as therapeutic, practice as catharsis, critiquing modes of production, exhaustion, illness, physical disasters, precarity, inherited mamae, the matrix of whiteness, performing an identity, disassociating/reassociating, 100 artworks you have to see before you die, artworks you experienced that altered your sense of the world, crying looking at a Monet/punching a Monet, fiction and reality as concepts on a spectrum not a binary, rationality vs emotion, boring abstract painting, the redundancy of art criticism, the friction of being both Pākehā and Māori, the history of tangata and whenua as one, how to find an identity again, you can have memories that are not yours, pairing words & art, who is art for, where does it belong, how to make work that isn’t an art school in-joke, the woman as narcissistic, who did the institution forget? how to be mixed, hybrid 101, being fractured into gestures or markers of a race, my body is a fraction, urgency and anxiety, disparate prose sitting next to each other, the destruction of water is the destruction of hapū, the biography of space, Google searching your ancestral lands, binaries are colonial constructs, cataloguing the self, western constructs of history, fact vs myth vs physical reality, i am all my ancestors and they are all me, survival tactics, how boring is a wall text? reassociating practice to life and death, intimacy, the end of it all, the taste of concrete dust in my sinuses.
The apocalypse is finally birthed from capitalism and we spiral into te kore, the void.
Ko te pū
Hine-nui-te-pō storms back into te ao from the kōpū of Papatūānuku, with obsidian teeth baring, to reclaim her time.
Rūaumoko stomps violently underground, and the hundreds of volcanoes across Aotearoa spew pyroclastic clouds into the sky and land.
The marae stand, untouched.
Mahuika scratches fire into acres of gentrification.
Tearing embers from roads, she forms new pa sites and neighbourhoods.
Ko te wao nui
Rangi-nui weeps the sky on us, holding us in a liquid korowai of protection.
The acres of wetlands which were drained by the English are replenished.
The wires are buried deep inside Tangaroa,1 connecting oceans and dance floors to feed political and social rhizomes.
Chords of filtering systems clear waterways from the pollution of unethical farming.
The arteries of ancestral rivers are revived, estuaries are overcome with impenetrable mud and ngahere.
Ki ngā tangata Māori
The ongoing transfer of intergenerational knowledge is maintained through peer to peer networks. This knowledge is stored safely by each marae in microchips made from minute ocean algae.
Nā Rangi rāua ko Papa
Museums and galleries send the indigenous tāonga in their collections back to their rightful owners.
Ko tēnei te tīmatanga o te ao
Credit card debt is nullified.
Ko tēnei te tīmatanga o te ao
Māori life expectancy extends.
On a hilly pa, overlooking the ocean a poutama trellis of plastic and phone cables sway, waving in the wind on the atea.2 The colonial masters are sent home, on the last four ships.
1 Piu-Piu Maya Turei, Karakia (2016). 2 Jacqueline Fraser Matakitaki at Otakou marae (1993). Matakitaki loosely translates to ‘the view’.
Mya Morrison-Middleton (Ngāi Tūāhuriri) is a writer, curator and DJ based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. She plays deconstructed club bangers under the name GG with her boo Brown Boy Magik. She is a member of Fresh and Fruity alongside Hana Pera Aoake, an indigenous art collective with a multidisciplinary practice. Her own writing practice attempts to form a praxis for imagining a future oriented narrative of indigenous sovereignty. Somehow she’s scammed her way into theatre and recently presented a play during Matariki at Basement Theatre.
My work unfolds as an assemblage–displayed as a collective of various media that surround the viewer; turning the act of collecting specimens on its head and looking at it from an evocative and open-ended view. Searching for ways to visualize and present ideas of ‘protection’, ‘immortalization’ and ‘embellishment’ in dialogue with those of colonization, taming of the other, ‘wildness’ and violence, the context in which Hal Foster positions an archival impulse may define my present preoccupation best. Constantly referring to compulsion, repetition and the death drive, Foster says ‘Perhaps any archive is founded on disaster or its threat; pledged against a ruin that it cannot forestall’. This in turn raises questions of normalization, hierarchy and even gentrification as the natural repercussion of realty–violence as a way to understand the other, its possible justifications, where they fall short, and if this ‘ruin’ we can archive but not stop, can itself be a means to an end.
Monuments of Memory
As the act of collecting takes the forefront, the work enters the realm of part process, part performance and part installation, each step documenting the previous, but doing so actively so as to add to and remove from it. Even within the media I use–digital and alternative photography, etching, drawing, molds, casts, and mixed media–there is the quality of being able to cut out the noise that surrounds a form and isolate it, linking back to the schizophrenic and the intense feeling of the present (Deleuze and Guattari). The body of works done in Biella, Italy under the project Tame is to establish ties, push the thread of this schizophrenic perception and violence in interactions further.
The right to ‘own’ something that was once not ours has come to be inescapably preceded by the attempt to ‘know’, especially when colonization as a wave is viewed in the South East Asia. In fact, to date, large parts of the archives and database that we have access to about our own country’s resources come from the collections and analyses of the colonizers; collections and documents that were put together with the primary aim as understanding and consequently controlling. In this sense it is impractical to talk of the Indian Subcontinent and its present cultural state without taking the West into account. If realty is opened up to address ownership, we cannot look at what our property is today without going back to the fact that we ourselves were once viewed as realty; a canalized river and its relationship with the barrier itself, for example.
The theory of the ‘Third Space’ which is attributed to Homi K. Bhabha, talks of hybridity as synonymous with normality, stressing on how inherent national identity is often questionable, owing to the waves of foreign rulers and powers. One of the various points of departures from this theory explores the idea of the third space within the construct of what biodiversity is today – an understanding that the point where the manmade and the natural meet is where true biodiversity lies; no longer in the depths of the ocean or in the untouched groves in the Amazon, instead at these points of mutual existence.
This is where the works titled Monuments of Memory come into existence, each systematically documented from canalized rivers across the world, acting as markers of the elusive ‘third space’.
Addressing this violence by being aware of the control I myself impose, but yet guardedly permitting science and myth to guide and point to certain openings, most often my interventions are minimal, allowing the object itself to hold its own ground, creating an archive of not only the forms but of their new-found contexts and narratives.
From old English volumes of The Herbal Historie of Plants to Indian religious texts, African and Celtic myths, catholic votives of Ex Voto, Imperial archives of the Indian Subcontinents flora and fauna and scientific hatcheries, my practice and research both continuedly straddle aesthetics and science. This need for mutual exchange often creates ruptures in scientific fact and introduces what may be called superstitions and fables. Alternative knowledge–myths, origins, obscure traces and perhaps even lose ends are ‘systems’ that are deemed as non-scientific and often left out of its discourse; these alternative systems are of interest to me and often act as points of departure within my process. Such departures come into play in works such as (An)archive and its inherent totemic and fetishizing qualities, Alternative Botanicals and their addressing of what ‘true’ knowledge is and Bred in Captivity.
Bred in Captivity
The project Bred in Captivity was developed specifically in Ireland, after having spent six weeks at a coral hatchery in the countryside. The idea of bred in captivity is itself one of conflicting morals, where though the creature will never know of its true habitat, it will also never have a chance to miss home. The way that cultural rifts, borders and shifts are dynamically altering from one generation to the next today, the chance to see the such an idea in a micro scale gave it an interesting sense of intrigue. Such a scientifically charged space, as a coral hatchery, being seen in line with the vast and untouched landscapes of Ireland, and stories of Druids and Loch Ness around every corner gave an entirely different entry into the relationship of landscape, sea, man and nature.
Bred in Captivity – Sea Monsters
The widespread acceptance of the Anthropocene, and the constant need for humans to now expect the most improbable (and often thought impossible) responses from nature, force me to look at realty as something a lot larger than what it was understood as even a few decades ago. ‘To look into the tiger’s eyes is to recognize a presence of which you are already aware; and in that moment of contact you realize that this presence possesses a similar awareness of you, even though it is not human’ says it best, where what we have deemed as lesser or at least as something we have knowledge and control of, makes us aware of its own cognizance of us.
Tame is to establish ties
Tangentially, violence–and the premise that any interaction we may have with a demarcated ‘other’ (be it hierarchical or otherwise) has an inherent sense of violence attached to it is another aspect I have just touched upon.
Sarasija attained her M.F.A in Painting from M.S.U. Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, India (2017) after completing her B.F.A in Painting with a Minor in Graphics from M.S.U. Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, India (2015). She has participated in several shows including They Walk Amongst Us, Don’t They, at 1Shanthiroad, Bangalore, Embark with Gallery Ark, Vadodara (2018), Building Bridges Exhibition I, II and III in A.M. Gallery (Kolkata), Art Konsult (New Delhi) and Gallery Sumukha (Bangalore) in 2018, Archival Dialogues and Archival Dialogues Revisited with Priyasri Art Gallery, Kotachiwadi, Mumbai (2017), Art el Centro, UNIDEE-Cittadellarte, Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy (2016), and The First Act, Faculty Gallery and Mayfair Atrium, M.S.U. Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, India (2014).
She was a resident at 1ShantiRoad Bangalore (2018), Art+Science Interface Residency at the Inagh Valley Trust, Ireland (2017-2018), a Studio Residency at Space118, Mumbai (2017), and the Building Bridges Project with Emergent Art Space, USA (2017).
“why does it always have to be about race? because you made it that way!” —Danez Smith
You ask me what I eat at home so I tell you I feed on ghosts
of my ancestors who saved me all the best pieces. You ask me
what I speak when with my family so I tell you
battle codes. I tell you paper boats. I tell you it’s something
you wouldn’t want to understand. Yet
you keep asking me. You want to know why
I look like I’m always squinting and laugh when I respond
it’s because I don’t know who I can trust. You insist
on tracing your tongue along my skin in search of something,
anything, you won’t like. An anxious reminder
your instinct was right. It doesn’t taste good
but then you can say at least I tried. You can
close your trusty eyes tonight certain of their judgement.
And I can close mine with one still open.
AN ABC AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY
yesterday i spent an hour looking at the census to see if we really are as small as my teachers make me feel. even at the birthday party they insisted on throwing to celebrate my arrival on this planet, nobody wanted to be there. there were limp balloons in all my least favorite colors, envelopes full of gift cards to stores i never shop at,
no one asked what music i wanted so the dj played toby keith requests while i sat in the corner waiting for the cotton-eyed joe to leave the back of my teeth.
at the end of the night i stood by the door thanking guests as they left. halfway through i noticed my lips were saying i’m sorry instead. the repetition i demanded must have triggered it. without any witnesses,
my teachers lined up along the perimeter to watch me fold empty chairs and stack them where they said. we saved you a piece of cake they hissed. sarah is bringing the rest back to her kids. they haven’t eaten dessert yet. make sure you shut off all the lights before you pop the balloons. we’ll leave you a knife and gun to decide which you want to use. and by the way, happy birthday. the door shuts.
AN ABC LISTENING TO THE TEACHER LECTURE DURING A CLASS ON MULTICULTURAL ISSUES IN HEALTHCARE
I’m sorry our symptoms / illnesses / accent / voices / echoes / steamed fish / ginger tea / “alternative” medicine / holisticness / wishes for good health and happiness / stories you hear about on NPR / “choices” / ideas about the afterlife / parents / ancestors / money burning / roast pork hanging behind smoke-pressed windows / incense lifting spirits through homes / ways of promising success for our children / pride / guānxi / bravery / survival tactics / bare feet / shaking legs just strong enough to carry what’s left of our veterans after you plunged your Western insecurities through their flail ribs / arms wrapped tight around what still belongs to us / inside jokes / family ashes / badassness / right to health / right to the same freedoms as you / right to be here / existence is a burden during your 8-hour shifts / 40 hours a week. I’m sorry you need a class to unlearn your biases. I’m sorry you make mistakes. I’m sorry my definition of racism didn’t fit any of your four options on the quiz. I’m sorry you’re racist. I’m sorry that I am a homeless thought in your heated home. I’m sorry for admiring your coated shoulders / aweing at your 3 hours scheduled / mandated / morally obligated / disingenuously designed / conveniently set aside every Thursday from nine to noon when class isn’t dismissed early (which it usually is) to consider the wind. I’m sorry it’s cold outside. I wish it didn’t have to be. I really do. I wish it didn’t have to be so fucking cold out here. I’m sorry this is going to hurt me a lot more than it’s going to hurt you. I’m sorry if you can’t accept my apology.
Kyle Liang is a 23-year-old, first-generation-born, Asian American and author of the chapbook, How to Build a House (Swan Scythe Press, 2018). His work has appeared in Stirring, Apogee, Hobart, and elsewhere. He has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Pushcart. You can find Kyle at Quinnipiac University, falling asleep at his keyboard the night before an exam, or on his website at kyleliang.com.
This is the difficult. This is the strange rage laid dormant in the belly—water through the shoddy dam angry. A dry-mouthed grief at the edge of healing. This is fury. The stinging ache of a not-touched body. The beginning of the moan, guttural—before the song comes. This is the painful. The scratchy red of eyes at the precipice of old tears finally ready to flow. This is the in-between. The coughing up of after the near drown—the instinct to live and draw breath. This is excavated memory. The awareness of wrenching aortic patterns—the hot and heavy energy of ancestral unfinished business. The guilty healing vibration of “I’m sorry I’ve passed this on to you.” Fuck. Fuck this. I saw the pain in her eyes and still yelled. I raged about while she pretended nothing different was occurring. Her brain was doing the difficult mental dance post stroke to understand. She was keeping the peace or manipulating to maintain care. This is not normal. They offer “thoughts and prayers.” Sitting in the privilege of not being dirty with family story. Fuck them all. Fuck you all. Caring is a foreign concept to the settler. Empathy is a lost art to the settled. The stabbing throb of inflammation in my joints. I am pushing through to keep an elder alive. Did he die because I stopped touching him? Did I choose her skin over his love? I want to bludgeon in the old way the next person who texts to fulfill the obligation of care without the accountability of seeing taking in the impact of struggle. My right knee hurts. I am alive in the moist earth of our Mother, she knows me in a different way—it smells different with her. I awake in the filth of the city, tense with the abundance of settled walking about post-apocalyptic searching for freedom. Their comfort will always cost the lives of the human beings. He wears my shirt and I hope it is enough that he will never feel what it is like to live in my body. His mother thinks he may be two:spirit. It is difficult to walk between the currents when the oil keeps spilling and their blood keeps pumping.
M. Carmen Lane (Tuscarora, Mohawk, African-American) is a two:spirit poet and cultural worker living in Kahyonha:ke (Cleveland, Ohio). Their poetry has been published in the Yellow Medicine Review, River Blood & Corn, and Red Ink Magazine. Carmen contributed to the Lambda Literary nominated anthology Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literatures. Their first collection of poetry is Calling Out After Slaughter (GTK Press, 2015).
Each hiccup is hindsight Breath tossed out in spasms of trickled trout Did you imagine
your lungs meat-totes drooling tar Bombay blasted from its loaded nightjar You inherit
a country just like an addiction shifting to your veins before you could learn how to trench
your blood The gardened swarm red valerian flecking sorceries of hoverflies My grandfather’s
shadow bent over some logic or ledger in stony devotion Light engraving on his kurta
the tiny joys of ashoka buds When I say contain do I mean to shelter or to shut in?
The books were auctioned off to a besotted truss of votarists My mother brought back
the cushion covers embroidered by cattle-breeders Never to use only to touch on certain damp evenings
when the air would explode in histrionics of a thousand wings Little pieties of Light Emeralds To lose is
always a euphemism for being stranded or stilled in the middle of a memory that will not concede
to any obedience of closure or continuities
When Q died, the debris refused any further diagnosis. I am Afghan only when rug or opium. What count -ry can be smoked into a signal-fire? Praise be to the kabuliwallah, baby alligator skins shirting chubby melons, grandmotherly lapis flirting with new cleavage. A hundred years will root in a bed of brave turnips planted to salt away a porch-full of daughters. Empire red on our tongues, the goat profaned to loiter before buzkashi. The blue wave of Her veil stammering in the clutch of a deep gust like a tired flag. Next to her, a boy the size of a birthday candle. Shoeless feet, cognac-tinseled eyes. De veritatibus primis, hymned the lapidary. There must be peace in knowing that you can cut life from the grey mood of any stone. The day after the first drone, his body emptied the final palate of its dreams in a dugout of blood-complexioned rocks. Everything that is possible demands to exist.
In General Theory of Victims, François Laruelle asks: “[W]ho deserves to arise, who is able to?”
Suppose this thing we won’t name is just the patient magic of nymphing for trouts—the angler lured in mid-tongue & the rest of its body leaving water like a ghazal of light.
Mine was a swift terror—a slippery amphibian in its practical spacing. Grew gills in the bathtub, flexed limbs in the bed. On some afternoons, it was a clique of wire-hangers asking to be unshaped, straightened into a quicker consequence.
In whichever tasteless city he threatened to abandon me throughout the trip, I often did find at least one animal of unashamed flaunting. Some thin leak of sulfur blurring the pelt of roads.
Propped against a harem of pillows, negotiating with the bone spur to pull back some of its flames from my spine, I burrow into a pdf about fibromyalgia. Differential diagnosis. Meaning your pain labours under a pseudonym. Meaning something is hunting you from within with a wolfpack of newly readied teeth.
Scherezade Siobhan is a psychologist, community catalyst, and a writer. She is the author of three books—Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), Father, Husband, (Salopress UK), & The Bluest Kali (Lithic Press, 2018). She is the creator and curator of The Mira Project, a global dialogue on women’s mental health, gendered violence, and street harassment. She is the founder and Chief Therapist at The Talking Compass—a therapeutic practice created to provide affordable mental health help for people. She can be found squeeing about militant bunnies at @zaharaesque on twitter/fb/IG and at her website.
Excerpt from Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos) Liveles 5-7
A live and video performance suite imagining our world in a future timeline which covers 1500 years. The landscape of this future world—its denizens, artifacts, and culture—provides both a site for considering new realities and alternative histories, unfettered by the current social order, while serving as a distorted lens aimed at our present in keeping with the tradition of dystopian science fiction.
The piece is scored by original music ranges from long form experimental scores to reworkings of pop songs originally in English which are translated into Spanish and radically changed to reveal abstract timelines and narratives from within this speculative fiction. These songs are scored by XUXA SANTAMARIA, my music project with Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland.
Stills from Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos) Livel 8: COOERPOH A COOERPOH, 2016-2017
Once a god, having achieved the singularity, the yt man RayKay_16 is now an irradiated pariah and seeks to be mortal again at any cost.
Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos) Livel 8: COOERPOH A COOERPOH and The Kingdom is Me
Selections for SIGILOS
Excerpt from Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos) Livel 8: COOERPOH A COOERPOH, 2016-2017
Three apparitions based on cargo cult inspired interpretations of Santeria’s Orishas conjured up to examine the role of myth-making and spirituality during times of duress.
Excerpt from BILONGO LILA: Nobody Dies in a Foretold War
Stills from Echoes of A Tumbling Throne (Odas al fin de los tiempos) Liveles #1,2,3,4, 2014
Born in 1985 in Carolina, Puerto Rico and currently based in Oakland, California, Sofía Córdova’s work considers sci-fi and futurity, dance and music culture(s), the internet, mystical things, extinction and mutation, migration, and climate change under the conditions of late capitalism and its technologies.
She first moved to the US to attend the early college program at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She completed her BFA at St. John’s University in conjunction with the International Center for Photography in New York City in 2006. In 2010 She received her MFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She has exhibited and performed at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Arizona State University Museum, the Vincent Price Museum, and other venues internationally such as Art Hub in Shanghai and the MEWO Kunsthalle in Germany. She has participated in residencies at the BAVC in San Francisco, Arteles in Finland, Mills College Museum in Oakland and the ASU Museum’s International Artist residency in Phoenix. Last fall she produced a new suite of performances, videos and sound compositions in Spain in an artist exchange supported by Spanish embassy in Washington DC and the city of Málaga, Spain. Most recently she was an artist in residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts.
Her work is currently featured in the latest edition of Bay Area Now at San Francisco’s YBCA. It is also part of Pier 24’s and The Whitney Museum’s permanent collections and has been the subject of a First Look feature in Art in America.
She is one half of the music duo, XUXA SANTAMARIA. In addition to discrete projects, performances, and albums the duo collectively scores all of her video and performance work.
Sofía Córdova is a conceptual, interdisciplinary artist with a focus on performance, music and video from Carolina, Puerto Rico. While the specific interests of her practice and how they’re made manifest in the work vary greatly. In the past she’s materially and conceptually employed pop music, science fiction, taxidermy, prepper culture. Her work is at its core interested in: the future as a site for alternative histories, climate change and colonialism, the contemporary conditions created by late capitalism and its technologies and the mythic and mystic mechanisms our species employ in making sense of the unimaginable. While remaining ambivalent about whether humans can be redeemed and survive in the face of a changing earth, she sees the future, despite the dystopian undertones of the work, as a site of possibility. The work asks: what forms of liberation lie in clearing the decks and starting anew for those bodies whose lives have historically been predicated by the violence of marginality?