Negotiating Latina Identity through Performance Art on the Web

Andria and I will be presenting  Are You My Other? next week at the 2011 National Popular Culture Association Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Negotiating Latina Identity through Performance Art on the Web
with Maya Escobar and Andria Morales

Challenging mainstream and academic representations of Latina identity, performance artists Maya Escobar and Andria Morales publicly negate, deconstruct, and reconstruct their individual histories, identities, and conceptions of self. In their current project Are You My Other? a self-portrait dialog exchange blog, Escobar and Morales draw from popular culture, Latino/a cultural iconography, and their lived experiences to create and virtually perform conflicting representations of Latina selves. From devoted homemaker to hockey player, reggaetonera to construction worker, conceptual artist to human corn on the cob, the artists model the multiplicity of identity.

Due to their shared physical similarities, followers of their online exchange often mistake Escobar and Morales for one another. The merging of their identities is further perpetuated through their activities on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. By locating these performances within the space of the web, where they are free from restrictions of time and place, the artists are able to concurrently enact multiple personas while simultaneously forming a unified (Latina) hybrid self.

Wonder Women Residency: New News is Old News

2011 is going to be a good year.  I can feel it already.  In addition to our upcoming presentation at the 2011 PCA/ACA Conference this April, Andria and I were also accepted to the Wonder Woman Residency at the _gaia studio, in New Jersey. Curated by Maya Joseph-Goteiner and Doris Caçoilo, this year’s theme is: New News is Old News.

New News is Old News
In our society, the importance of news has shifted; some would argue that it has been elasticized or else devalued. As the blogosphere replaces the daily newspaper as the purveyor and distributor of breaking news, the reporting of events is no longer filtered by the journalist/editor. Instead the voice of news is replaced by a dynamic exchange of information.

Already, online, the same article that has appeared black on white in the early print edition has been updated, corrected or even replaced on the web. Newspaper stories no longer fit the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of news as “a report of recent events: previously unknown information.” In many respects, we have created an endless source of updated information online, a bottomless pit of patter. We cannot possibly consume all the news and commentary published online, and while few people have the time to read the entire newspaper, even fewer can keep up with the minute-to-minute updates via Twitter, blogs, online publications, and RSS feeds.

A residency that focuses on the ways in which news is presented, represented, distributed, and modified within the space of the web…  hmm…  can you think of anything more perfect for us?

So what are we doing?

I won’t spill all the beans yet, but here is an excerpt from our preliminary proposal:

Our project takes its cue from the recent Buy Life Digital Death campaign, where celebrities volunteered their virtual lives (activity on Twitter and Facebook) with the goal of raising $1 million for children and families in Africa and India affected by HIV/AIDS. We were fascinated by their use of highly stylized, seductive images of Kim Kardashian (and other participating celebrities) lying in a coffin, and the role these images play in the dissemination of news coverage surrounding this HIV/AIDS campaign.

People Hate Kim Kardashian's Tweets More Than AIDS

Almost immediately following Digital Death’s inception, images of  a “dead” Kardashian started appearing in news stories everywhere from CNN to Gawker. Now layered with multiple levels of  history and meaning, screenshots of the sultry Kardashian lying in a coffin, continue to be re-distributed on personal blogs, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter pages…

Stay tuned for more project updates here and on Are You My Other?


All I want for my birthday is to go to Texas

Taking it to Texas Campaign

Tomorrow I turn 27.  And everyone keeps asking me what I want, what I need. Things may be tight, but I have what I need: a roof over my head, food to eat, an adoring husband and wonderful family and friends.

But what I want more than anything, is to be able to go to Texas with my collaborator Andria Morales.  She and I were just accepted to the 2011 National Popular Culture Association Conference in San Antonio Texas, where we will be presenting our self portrait dialog exchange project Are You My Other? We are thrilled about this opportunity and think it is the perfect place to situate our work. But after totaling our expected expenses, we realized that collectively we need to come up with $1,500 just to make it happen.

So Andria and I are launching our first-ever Are You My Other? fundraising campaign Taking it to Texas.  In exchange for donations, we are offering Are You My Other? goodies, alongside favorites from our individual bodies of work… but at a fraction of the price!

SHOMER NEGIAH PANTIES (usually $20 each now one pair for $15 or two for $20) and Andria’s BLASTER BIKE TOTES ($15) and T-SHIRTS ($20)

Shomer Negiah Panties

Maya Escobar, Shomer Negiah Panties, 2005-present

Blaster Bike

Andria Bibiloni, Blaster Bike, 2007