The perils of indoor artmaking have chased me out of doors again. At this time, I walk and look and research and consider where I am, who I am in this context, and how to negotiate the multiple IDs that are laid upon me.
I found out that the condo I live in was a community print shop that offered free classes to kids. And that the parking lot where I park was a collective artmaking space shared by several local artists. I met a man who has a tattoo of a geometric Aztec sun bursting from an asteroid. He tells me he walked by the mural every day on his way to school as a kid and it had an impact on him. The mural used to be on the building where I now park my car. The parking lot will inspire and empower ZERO young people, I predict.
What is gentrification? What is manifest destiny? What kind of obscuring/erasure of history and local knowledge is happening in my hood? Moving here and introducing myself around has been a series of disasters.
The Pocho Research project is one of a few projects by Sandra de la Loza and she has this down. By researching locales and working with communities facing gentrification, this becomes an intervention in the enormous SILENCE that surrounds these actions of violence against communities in the name of economic development.
One of the most interesting and complex projects I heard Sandra talk about was a plaque to commemorate a lesbian & queer bar in a Latino section of town that was taken over by yuppies moving in to the 'hood, and ultimately closed. It's not on the website.
I saw her speak at the Allied Media Conference. I want to see if she can come to Chicago and talk.