Profile: Statement / Biography – 2012

I am a performance artist, designer, activist, researcher and educator who works nowadays with the Counter Narrative Society to transform the weight I carry from witnessing the invisible punishing machine.

 

I was born in Chile and about 20 years ago I made the USA my home (in the Bay area of San Francisco). In 2007, I founded the Counter Narrative Society (CNS), a research unit that works to initiate counter narratives about bio-power, urbanism, culture and technology. In 2009, I joined the MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology and under the CNS started to ask the question, what is mass punishment? In the process of tinkering with ideas, traveling and learning about practices and theories of social control, statehood, criminology and the habitus, I discovered that I was looking at the invisible punishing machine.

The invisible punishing machine is an idiomatic, science fiction-esque research concentration that I designed in order to examine aesthetically, morally, emotionally, and historically the underlying illegible social, spatial and technological causes that produce inequality and invisible punishment – a consequence of mass imprisonment, political persecution of individuals, the prison-welfare system, urbanization, neoliberal policies, and social-urban control in the USA.

From this perspective, I now make art as a method to convey philosophical and poetic concerns congruent to my activities as an artist-researcher and activist. I am exploring this practice through the counter narrative method I call Paradoxical Remedies which symbolically uses the idea of poisonous treatments. On the one hand this method playfully counteracts undesirable and traumatic conditions by creating sometimes difficult emotional, anomalous situations; on the other hand, this analytic method opens new possibilities for healing, socializing and communicating meaningful bio-political issues, which in the appropriate social and spatial conditions I produce and design radical live actions, performances, multimedia installations, tactical objects and multifaceted projects for artistic research, activism, personal therapy and radical pedagogy.

To see my most current long-term project …when the invisible punishing machine is everywhere…The Weight I Carry with Me.

I am also a recipient of several recognitions including MIT Presidential Award 2009-2010 and MIT Architecture Department Fellowship 2009-2011, Zellerbach Family Foundation & W.A. Gerbode Foundation 2006, and Osher Memorial Merit Scholarship – San Francisco Art Institute 2003-2006. My work has been presented in a variety of public spaces and cultural institutions: Boston City Hall, MA; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA; Art of this Gallery, MI; De Young Museum, CA, The Intersection for the Arts, CA; Galleria de la Raza, CA; Primo Piano Living Gallery, Lecce Italy; New College of California, CA; San Francisco World Affairs Counsel, SF; and University of San Francisco, CA.

[I live and work in the USA between San Francisco CA and Philadelphia PA.]