Anthropology Department, UC Davis
y work is based on intensive participant-observation in contemporary art and curatorial worlds. Animated by a deep sense of care towards assemblages and images, I think of my work as a simultaneous contribution to media anthropology, the anthropology of art, and the anthropology of the image. Until now I have been conducting fieldwork in Mexico City where I was particularly attentive to the formal inquiries, image-making processes, and writings of media artists, as well as to the concept-work of curators who care about them. I have engaged, specifically, those artists and curators whose inquiries have provocatively signaled an ongoing breakdown of cultural forms and historical figurations of anthropos in Mexico (eg. mestizaje, mexicanidad, cosmopolitan-nationalist modes of existence). The outcome of this first fieldwork experience and experiment is a book length study titled The Incurable-Image:Curating Post-Mexican Film & Media Arts (Edinburgh University Press, February 2016).
My writings have appeared in books and journals, including Framework, Revista de Antropologia Social, and Critical Arts. I have also programmed and collaborated on symposia around the legacy of avant-garde cinema, aesthetics, and visual media. . Rather than illustrations of fieldwork, these public programs are the outcome of my participant-observation based “curatorial work” and “curatorial designs”. I’m also part of a collaborative team of researchers, hosted by the Los Angeles Film Forum and funded by the Getty Foundation, currently editing and curating an anthology and several platforms on experimental cinema and media in Latin America.