Crosser & La Migra are two video games that represent opposite perspectives on the dynamics at the US-Mexico border, rendered as early arcade graphics and presented as a diptych. Artist and designer Rafael Fajardo is the founding director of SWEAT, a loose collaborative that makes socially conscious video games in order to explore the poetics of interactivity, critique and deploy electronic media, and comment on cultural realities.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Garden del Rio Grande curated by Emilie Trice
Participating artists and institutions: John Jota Leaños, Rafael Fajardo, Cherish Marquez, LAST/RESORT Club (Artists: Jeremy Billauer, Sarai Levinson, Cherish Marquez, Scott McKinney, Austin Slominski, Emilie Trice, Jullian Young), Black Cube Nomadic Museum, Denver, Colorado; Desert Valley Art Ranch, San Luis, Colorado
Rafael Fajardo teaches at the University of Denver in Emergent Digital Practices. He is part of an emerging group of artists and designers who are exploring the potential of digital video games to express serious and complex subject matter. Through his collaborative, SWEAT, Fajardo has published two video games that comment on the game-like nature of (il)legal human traffic at the US/Mexico border. These games have been exhibited in Holland, Turkey, Canada, Australia and the US.
Before coming to Denver, Fajardo spent six years living, teaching, and working on the US/Mexico border. There, he challenged the canons of design education and attempted to locate a visual expression that was “of the region” and not imposed from outside. Fajardo investigates cultural identity and cultural representation through his visual and intellectual work. His early explorations, completed while receiving his MFA from RISD, garnered recognition from the American Center for Design. More recently, his critical practice has earned him recognition by I.D., The International Magazine of Design as one of the fifty top designers in the US.