Eventually I realized that this had to become part of my practice since it’s such a big part of how I cope. I made a few experiments with screenshots. Eventually they started crawling into my work or I would rip the audio or show the video itself alongside other things. The first piece that involved Youtube was Rio. It was this video piece where I ripped audio from a Youtube video of a meeting of elders from my dad’s village where they were teaching people about the history of the river and it’s importance to us as a resource, but as native people and so on. This gesture of healing with agua flórida became the piece, of this kinda attempt at community participation from a makeshift river—my Boston bathroom—and an attempt to connect and heal via the internet. That was the first piece where the internet came in. I hate this label of post-internet art, about the internet being dead and banal. Dead and banal for whom exactly? Definitely not for refugees and immigrants. Youtube comments become a forum and space of participation, nostalgia, and debate. To have Rio exist on Youtube a few videos under the one I pulled audio from seems
significant. My dad is really traumatized and sometimes Youtube and other online spaces have been able to teach me history, because sometimes conversations are hard. Also, digital media made by Salvadorans fascinates me, whether it’s memes or comedy skits, etc. I think coming from such a charged place like El Salvador, all you see on Univision is really sensationalized and regular people having the ability to upload media gives a chance for an alternative. Also, the internet I use to map.
«Quiero ir a los volcanes.» — Mal de Amores (Mercedes)
CVM: Mal De Amores (Mercedes) was, for me, the most impactful work you’ve shared with me. It combines many of the priorities found in your work. For me, this particular performance crystallizes and sees your concerns around preservation, distance, storytelling, articulating deep traumas and deeper joys, etc. come alive. I can picture you surrounded by your
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