Radical Reordering: bit-size chunks in the AL GRANO project


Session Title:

  • Bio-Art

Presentation Title:

  • Radical Reordering: bit-size chunks in the AL GRANO project



  • (Long paper)

    Keywords: Maize, biodiversity, contamination, Mesomaerica, histories, languages, chunking, composition, decomposition, recodification.

    The paper unpacks my working methodology in the creation of large, multi-year projects based on the segmentation and grouping of ideas, materials, and objects into chunks. As case study I use my current project Al GRANO: Framing Worlds, a composite gallery installation with individually installable pieces that can be connected in various combinations. Exhibited together, the chunks compose a large project that addresses conflicting historical, cultural, technological, and political positions related to maize, a contested grain considered both food and cultural symbol in Mexico, and source of macro profits for multinational agribusiness. I discuss the process of recodification embedded in the artwork itself and the influence of a Latin American literary ‘tour de force’ in my practice of dismantling languages and codes. I furthermore examine how the structure of material, changed through bioengineering, can be used to stress that the hybridization between natural and biotechnological genes is a source of division that spawns – in countries such as Mexico – the need to establish geopolitical immunological structures for the protection of ecological and cultural infection from external forces. I conclude by articulating that an interdisciplinary approach in the use of art and technology tools and systems can serve to critically inspect temporally and spatially continuous permeation of infamous incidents throughout social and political worlds.

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