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“Learning from Las Vegas”: Border Aesthetics, Disturbance, and Electronic Disobedience: An Interview with Performance Artist Ricardo Dominguez
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English, The Swedish Institute for North American Studies.ORCID iD: markus.heide@engelska.uu.se
2018 (English)In: Journal of Borderlands Studies, ISSN 0886-5655, E-ISSN 2159-1229, p. 1-10Article in journal (Other academic) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Since the 1980s the performance artist Ricardo Dominguez has been involved in collaborative art projects experimenting with political aesthetics. Critical Art Ensemble, formed in1987, explored intersections between art, technology, political activism as well as criticaltheory. In the 1990s, the Zapatista uprising and its insurgent use of communication technology inspired Dominguez to rethink his notion of art and art’s role in society. In 1997Dominguez was co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater. About a decade later,in 2008, the group initiated the installation and performance pieceTransborder ImmigrantTool(TBT). The Electronic Disturbance Theater planned to distribute inexpensive mobilephones among individuals South of the US–Mexico border who planned to cross North.The group had developed a phone app that provided experimental poetry to unauthorizedmigrants while using GPS technology to lead them to water stations in the deserts of theborderlands. As an installation (water stations) and a performance (distribution, poetry,crossing of the border), theTransborder Immigrant Toolcalls attention to the processof crossing the border and the dangers involved. After all, each year about 250 deathsof migrants are registered in the borderlands, most of them caused by dehydration.1TBT’s art intervention confronts the public with the borderlands as a place of violenceand death. At the same time, it reflects on art’s potential of going beyond its own complicity in power structures. TBT also links art and politics to the technological and digitalizedculture of surveillance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. p. 1-10
Keywords [en]
Border Studies, USA, Mexico, performance, art, security, surveillance
National Category
Visual Arts
Research subject
Art History (HGO); English; Aesthetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357962DOI: 10.1080/08865655.2018.1490197OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357962DiVA, id: diva2:1241243
Projects
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond AB17-1062:1
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, AB17-1062:1Available from: 2018-08-23 Created: 2018-08-23 Last updated: 2018-08-24Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2018.1490197

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