1997

The art world begins to talk about "relational aesthetics." Radical choreographer Sara Shelton Mann from the dance troupe Contraband, Roberto, and I jumpstart a three-year project titled The Mexterminator. The idea is to use the internet as a tool of  "reverse anthropology" to research America's psyche regarding Anglo/Latino relations, then to develop an ever-evolving repertoire of performance personae based on this research. For this purpose, we develop "confessional" websites asking individuals to suggest how we should dress as Mexicans and Chicanos, and what kind of performance actions and social rituals we should engage in.

The Internet confessions are much more explicit than those gathered during live performances such as Temple of Confessions. Scholars help us to select the most striking and representative confessions so we can use them as source material for performance. As performance artists, we embody this information and re-interpret it for a live audience, thus refracting fetishized constructs of identity through the spectacle of our artificially constructed identities on display. A gorgeous photo-portfolio by Mexican photographer Eugenio Castro is made out of the Mexterminator personae. At least 500 of these images haven't yet been printed or published.

Ongoing: Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros invites the Latino MacArthur fellows to form "The MacArturos" or "MacCabrones". Part ombudsmen and part cultural instigators, the group meets once a year in a different city with a sizeable Latino community in turmoil. These gatherings are designed as informal think tanks and a means to insert a Latino perspective into current national debates. We strategically use our name to empower local communities, generate public dialogue, and confront local authorities. Our presence in the host city involves town meetings, panels, performances, and public debates. Besides Sandra and me, participants include activists Valdemar Velázquez, María Varela, and Joaquín Ávila; writers Luis Alfaro, Ruth Bejar and Alma Guillermo-Prieto; radio entrepreneur Hugo Morales and others.

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*Radio Free Pocha