Garden del Rio Grande pays homage to the geographic region around the Rio Grande River, which runs from central Colorado along the U.S./Mexico border to the Gulf of Mexico. Our garden contemplates how technology can reconnect us to the land and amplify indigenous voices, while questioning to what extent can art and design fortify sustainable ecologies. Through emerging technology we seek to reverse-engineer the past in order to reimagine the future.
Emilie Trice & LAST/RESORT present Garden del Rio Grande
Autonomy is a myth. So is manifest destiny. These so-called “ideals” of American individualism and exceptionalism have contributed, greatly, to the current state of social, political and moral polarity in the United States, especially in relation to the region surrounding the Rio Grande River, which runs from central Colorado south to New Mexico and then along the U.S./Mexican border to the Gulf of Mexico.
The acceleration of technology is hurling us towards new frontiers, either designed by us or assigned to us, often without our input. Before we can use technology to create a different and better future, we need to reimagine our past and take steps towards reverse-engineering our present. How can technology reconnect us to the land? Or amplify indigenous voices? To what extent can art and design fortify sustainable ecologies or empower equitable narratives? Is it possible to go forward by looking back?
Autonomy, as a social ideal, is misleading – we all need each other in order to progress, and often just in order to survive. Everything happens in concert with everything else. Garden del Rio Grande seeks to illuminate the connections that bind us – to each other, to the land, to our shared past and to our collective future.
- John Jota Leaños
- Rafael Fajardo & SWEAT collective
- Cherish Marquez
- Black Cube Nomadic Museum, Denver, Colorado
- Desert Valley Art Ranch, San Luis, Colorado
- LAST/RESORT Club (Artists: Jeremy Billauer, Sarai Levinson, Cherish Marquez, Scott McKinney, Austin Slominski, Emilie Trice, Jullian Young)
- Jaime Carrejo
If once we ever were by Jaime Carrejo (USA)
Black Cube Nomadic Museum (USA)
Black Cube Nomadic Museums’ executive director and chief curator Cortney Lane Stell presents If once we ever were, a virtual recreation of a public sculpture and temporary monument by artist Jaime Carrejo that recognizes immigrants and their contributions to our communities. The monument is a triumphal arch composed of chain-link fencing that originally appeared in Denver, Colorado and acts as a metaphor for boundaries—the delineation of private and public space, the division of geographical borders, and the separation of rights.
Augmented Idolatry (AI) – inaugural project of the Desert Valley Art Ranch (VAR), San Luis Valley, Colorado
Augmented Idolatry (AI) is a collective AR artwork composed of seven distinct AR idols, designed in direct response to the landscape, history and spirituality of the San Luis Valley, home to the artist residency “Desert Valley Art Ranch.” An actual mud plinth built on-site is shared among the seven AR idols and connects them to the land. The AR idols refer to memento mori, indigenous histories, natural resources and sacred geometries.
Cherish Marquez (US)
Rio Verde is a socially conscious video game by Cherish Marquez that explores the healing powers of the desert, as well as themes such as Latinx iconography and mental wellness.
Crosser & LaMigra
Rafael Fajardo (US)
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.
John Jota Leaños
Leaños directed and produced the animated documentary, Frontera!, retelling the history of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico. The film has been supported by a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Film and Video and a National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Grant, among others. Collaborators: Conroy Chino (Acoma Pueblo), Warren Montoya (Santa Ana Pueblo, Tamaya and Santa Clara Pueblo, Khapo Owinge’), Lee Moquino (Santa Clara Pueblo, Zia Pueblo, Apache/Yaqui), Aimee Villarreal, and Cristóbal Martinez (Alcalde).
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
LAST/RESORT Club is an artist collective based in the beautiful Rocky Mountains that specializes in emergent digital practices and speculative & sustainable design for the Anthropocene.
This program is part of 2020 – finally digital?!
The year 2020 began with a Big Bang, one that demanded the art industry pivot away from its established codes of conduct, immediately, as a matter of sheer survival. From the exchange of courtesies, to remote work structures, and to the reorganization of public and private spaces – old customs required immediate redesign in response to the crisis. As a result, the online space gained even more significance as the only platform for business and commercial transactions, affecting even the art industry and its age-old reliance on in-person interaction. However, across the art industry’s network of galleries, artists, institutions, auction houses, and biennials, the speed of adaptation, the ability to process the ongoing iterations and to find a customized response has varied dramatically.
2020 – finally digital?! is composed of three sections: a conference, invited curatorial projects, and digital gallery showcases. The conference will feature notable members of the art industry and their assessments of the art world’s digitization progress over the past year. The second section invites curators to report back from their communities on emerging positions that are acute right now. The third section amplifies galleries, which are the backbone of the art industry.
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