Landscape ~ Mindscape

I’ve been working on my project Arttextum since 2012. Ever since I conceived it, I haven’t stop thinking about it and creating it in collaboration with other magical souls around the world.

This project weaves human energy as if we were creative rivers that flow over and transform the cultural landscape. Through our individual flow, we carve the terrain that we touch. Our individual drive inspires others to thrive: that’s what we do in Arttextum!

Arttextum was recently invited to participate at the CIDIQ (Congreso Internacional de Docencia e Investigación en Química) hosted at the UAM-Azcapotzalco (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana) in Mexico City. Please find complete information about the event on the News section of the official Arttextum website.

The participation consisted on being a keynote speaker, a series of workshops, and a collective large-scale installation at the Building W, a cold and grey building which houses the most expensive Chemistry Labs in the University.

My sister Wendy, my collaborator for this project, had an omen during her daily shower: she thought that utilizing the T.TAIO sponges could be a great idea. Luckily we got a sponsorship from the T.TAIO Company, that happens to be located in Azcapotzalco, and we started to weave desires and collective memories with this  colorful material.

We proposed four workshops for all students: one focused on Passion, another one focused on Intuition, one more about Inspiration, and lastly, one about (personal) Strength. These four workshops were in fact a reflection of what we call in Arttextum, the Ubiquitous Compass, which is like a personal compass that helps us deal with crisis.

Once we had the plan done, it was just a matter of time to do our best. Here is what happened:

During the first workshop, we invited the students to think about one of the many peak moments in their lives, and help them translate these into colorful mountains that connected to one another. For those students who didn’t have any experience working with color (their majors were in Chemistry, Architecture, Spanish, and many more), we taught them how to think in terms of color, about shadows and lights, and more importantly about the temperature of colors, so that they could express accurately their emotions. We covered a surface of more than 30 linear meters. The drawn mountains were all from the Mexican natural landscape, featuring the Popocatépetl, the Iztaccíhuatl, the Nevado de Toluca, the Cerro de la Silla, and many more.

For the other workshop, we worked directly with the T.TAIO material. We created two gigantic webs that gave structure to support the T.TAIOs. This structure was built in a similar way to Dream Catchers weaves. The reason why we used this as a basis for supporting the colorful T.TAIOs was because in the Arttextum world dreams support our crazy and creative adventures in the real world. Students from the Spanish Department of the ENSM (Escuela Normal Superior de México), also located in Azcapotzalco, help in building this large-scale installation.

Once the structure was done, we entered into the realm of intuition. Through a guided meditation, we invited students to imagine being water, and as creative rivers they could trace their own way -similar to what we experience in life. In this free style of imagining oneself, students then draw those paths utilizing various colors of T.TAIOs that later on encountered one another in the center of the supporting structure. When the dream catcher structure was lifted and suspended between floors, the colorful lines fell on the ground as if they were rain: one with warm colors, and another one with cool colors.

With colorful sponges, I assigned specific definitions to each color to compose a puzzle of the cultural landscape of Mexico. For example, the red color represented the social landscape that artists address in their art production; the green color represented the inherited landscapes that artists refer to when talking about what happens in their personal lives here in Mexico; the blue color was linked to the landscapes of encounter, meaning those that refer to collaborative art projects that are inspired by and produced in connection to local communities, the art projects that surpass the personal ego of the artist and that seek to transform such communities; finally, the yellow color represented the landscapes of transformation, which are the ones that artists lead in order to transform local contexts, that deal with ecological issues.

During the presentation of the artwork, we also held another workshop in which people were taught how to create their own pangea of emotions through color and sponges provided by T.TAIO. Once they assigned a meaning to each color, they traced the shape of it, and sewed each part to one another. When the pangea was done, they were invited to germinate seeds in the sections that unify one color to the other, referring to a bond that grows between sections of our own lives, as if they were puzzles in which every piece is a moment that had a significant meaning to us.

«Todos nosotros estamos hechos de pedazos, de momentos, de historias, de sonidos. […] Con cada vivencia, con cada sonido, vamos construyendo el mapa de nuestra vida. […] Podemos sentir claramente cómo la vida es un rompecabezas.»

Margarita Castillo, «Corazón Orlando» (extracto de audio), 2018

This last workshop occurred as part of the whole installation, in which people interacted with it, saw it from different angles (from the first floor up to the fourth floor of the Building W) and had a great moment playing with the four aspects of the Ubiquitous Compass (inspiration, strength, passion and intuition) that were present throughout the collective installation.

During the workshops, as well as during the conference that we gave, we couldn’t stop thanking all the support from our sponsors: Promoción del Arte, Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte, Madrid, Spain (especially through Doña Begoña Torres and Paloma Ballesteros); UAM Azcapotzalco, CIDIQ, Industrias T.TAIO (especially thanks to Ing. Ingrid Jiménez), and the participants of the workshops:

  • Jasmín Luba López Regino
  • Lenia Berrocal Peralta
  • Abril Gómez Valadez
  • Sandra Mendoza Pacheco
  • María de Lourdes Muñoz Velázquez
  • Rodrigo Vargas Cortés
  • Enrique Delgadillo Enriquez ARQUIKE
  • Eduardo Serna Jiménez
  • Aline Aimeé Isidro González
  • Elizabeth Hernández Lazo
  • Elia Piedad Pablo Reyes
  • Jéssica Madrigal Rodríguez
  • Paulo Santiago Ferreira Domínguez
  • Carlos Alberto Sánchez Melgoza
  • Sara Ivonne Ferreira Domínguez
  • César H. Islas Zárate
  • Blanca Estefanía Robreño
  • Teresita de Jesús Estrada A.
  • Luis Fernando Lara Rubio
  • Daniela Araiza Reyes
  • Edgar Omar Alcántara
  • Cristian David Ruiz Pérez
  • María Fernanda Graciano Morales
  • Paulina Ortiz Torres
  • Andrea Hernández Mateos
  • Nelly Amairany Moreno Rojas
  • Vianey Lucero Carvente Álvarez
  • Gladis Maricela Hernández de la Cruz
  • Diana Abigail García Migaill
  • Luz María Tepetate Clemente
  • Emily Campa de la Rosa
  • Edna Quetzal Martínez Robles
  • Dante Morales Carmona
  • Cinthya Copca Cid

And of course our friends and family who are always there for us: Silvia Domínguez, Arturo Kanno, Fabián Rodríguez Ramírez, Arcelia López Acosta, Andrea López Tyrer, Xanat López.

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