In honor of a new year, I’m going to try and commit to producing more for this site. The bar has been set pretty low with monthly updates for the past year or so. Hopefully I can find the time to do what I’m hoping to do. Ok, here goes:
This is a video of me making a torta. There are plenty of ways to make tortas and this is one option if you’re hungry. All the ingredients were purchased at a Mexican market called Pancho Villa Farmer’s Market here in San Diego.
Ingredients (estimated cost $2.54 for two tortas):
This summer, I met a 17-year-old boy named Jay at a DIF shelter in Tijuana. He had spent 15 of his 17 years in the U.S., brought from Mexico at age 2. Working alongside KPBS reporter Amy Isackson, we recorded his story and photographed him (all except his face because the shelter administrators wouldn’t allow it).
This video is an eight minute excerpt of a 12 minute improvisation (I think Sarah ran out of tape). As students in an M.F.A. program (it looks like their site went downhill after Fish went to RISD), the four of us had been playing together for a few months. We recorded some really interesting sessions, learning the soundscape of each instrument. The masks were donned as last-minute inspiration, but it was the first time we’d played with them:
One of the most important lessons artists need to learn is one that is never taught: document everything. It’s gotten so much easier in recent years and people still forget to point a camera at their projects. Good documentation keeps your ideas alive.
After recently getting my video groove back on, I pulled out some video archives. The perspective in this video adds an extra layer to it — a live improvised composition of its own. Video artist Sarah Smiley documented this for me in May of 2002.
I had been doing a series of piano experiments, with the main goal of playing back reversed piano. There’s something magical about the slow build of blended notes played backward. Looking back, I’m proud of what I was able to do with the technology. I have my critiques of the performance itself, but overall I’m happy with it. I miss having access to a piano, and both the technical and creative support that school provides.
For anyone who might visit, we stayed at a hoste/hotel called Maya Bell. It’s actually inside the National Park of Palenque. We had a great time exploring and soaking in the ancient city.
Some of my best photos from the trip were shot here in Palenque.
Video recorded September 20, 2007