[-empyre-] Welcoming Ana Valdes and Ricardo Domingues

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sun Feb 7 13:34:45 AEDT 2016

Hello empyreans,  
Many thanks to those of you who posted your recent biographies and current work.  It is always wonderful to hear from those of you who both participate regularly and also lurk.  We encourage lurkers to join in a bit more as often as they can in 2016.  Your voices are important to our list-serv. -empyre soft-skinned space is a collective group of artists and technologists, theorists and curators and many others who discuss critical perspectives on contemporary cross-disciplinary issues, practices and events in networked media.

It is most fitting this February as we discuss our next topic, Across borders and networks: migrants, asylum seekers, or refugee? to welcome old friends Ana Valdes and Ricardo Domingues to organize and lead this global topic. Both Ana and Ricardo are well known for their advocacy of those who have been disenfranchised and displaced by political or other circumstances.  Both have agreed to share their experiences and their expertise. Their biographies are copied below. They have assimilated a list of ten international guests who will also share their knowledge.  We welcome them all warmly to -soft-skinned space.  I have agreed to join Ana and Ricardo to help out with running some of the daily logistics. We will send out the Introductory post and our guests biographies in just a bit.  We hope all of you (lurkers included) will join this important conversation. 

Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project (http://bang.transreal.org/) with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle
Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award” (2008), an award funded by Cultural Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–US and handed out by the US Embassy in Mexico. It also was funded by CALIT2 and the UCSD Center for the Humanities. The Transborder Immigrant Tool has been exhibited at the 2010 California Biennial (OCMA), Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2011), The Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands (2013), ZKM, Germany
(2013), as well as a number of other national and international venues. The project was also under investigation by the US Congress in 2009-2010 and was reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a gesture that potentially “dissolved” the U.S. border with its poetry. Dominguez is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, Director of the MFA program, and Principal/Principle Investigator atCALIT2, Chair of Gallery at CALIT2 (http://gallery.calit2.net <http://gallery.calit2.net/>) and the Immersive Lab at SME, UCSD. He also is co-founder of *particle group*, with artists Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, Amy Sara Carroll, whose art project about nano-toxicology entitled *Particles of
Interest: Tales of the Matter Market* has been presented at the House of World Cultures, Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008), Oi Futuro, Brazil
(2008), CAL NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (2009), Medialab-Prado, Madrid (2009), E-Poetry Festival, Barcelona, Spain (2009), Nanosférica, NYU (2010), and SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico (2012): http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/particle-group-intro.

Ana Valdes was born in Uruguay, South America, in a family of Spanish and Italian emigrants, raised by German nuns. She studied Geography with German maps from 1942 and she
believed firmly that Belgium, Netherlands, France, Norway and Denmark were a part of the Germany. In the maps the nuns used Germany was almost the whole Europe. She was put in prison when she was 19 years old for her political views. Ana belonged to a guerilla group called Tupamaros, at that time she believed in the weapons as a way to change things. She has changed her views, radically, and has been a member of the pacifist group Women in Black for years.

After 4 years in prison she was deported to Sweden where she came of age. In 1982 she published her first book with short stories, awarded by Sorbonne University. She has written and published more than ten books and some of her short stories have been translated into English, French, Greek and Italian, Faber and Faber and Serpent's Tail has published several collections with her work, “The Garden of the Alphabet” and “Columbus's Egg.”She is a bilingual writer and writes both in Swedish and in Spanish.
Ana has also been an independent curator and worked with Swedish visual artist Cecilia Parsberg in Palestine, they created the network “Equator”http://www.ceciliaparsberg.se/equator
She has participated in several debates about violence and representation with Jordan Crandall, “Under fire” (http://www.wdw.nl/wdw_publications/jordan-crandall-under-fire-2/)

Best to all of you. 

Renate Ferro
-empyre soft-skinned space
Managing moderator


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