We are excited to announce that we’ve joined forces with Tijuana-based artist Juan Villavicencio to bring the ongoing project Would you like to participate in an artistic experience? initiated by Ricardo Basbaum, to the Tijuana / Los Angeles border region.
We have been working with students and publics on both sides of the border to activate the NBP object (pictured above). Specifically, we will are using the object as a conceptual and literal platform to activate a transnational informal imaginary, seeking insight into the relationship between cultural objects, their material and symbolic context and utility, and the formation of value around/through them in the border region.
We have begun the collaboration by hosting interactive stations in public spaces for cultural exchange to ask the public to propose 1) A use for the NBP object, and 2) How much they would pay for the object.
In the Santa Ana / Los Angeles region, we organized stations at Grand Central Art Center during Saturday Art walk (in August) and inside of the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet (in September). In Tijuana, an interactive station was organized in art galleries in the Pasaje Revolucion (In October) and another will be held on the campus of the Baja California state university in Tijuana (UABC) and/or in a local street market this month by students in Juan Villavicencio’s sculpture class.
The responses collected at each of these stations are being illustrated by student artists from Cal State Fullerton and UABC and will be published as a bilingual book that will juxtapose the relationship between the cultural/regional imaginaries on each side of the border and the economic value they assigned to this particular cultural object.
In this sense, we are using the NBP object to test the following schema for understanding the relationship between object, context, utility and value:
[Cultural Object] = [Context]* + [Use]* = [Value]*
*Material vs. Symbolic
After completing this phase, we will invite student groups in Santa Ana and in Tijuana to realize one of the suggested uses for the NBP object that was proposed on the opposite side of the border, i.e. students in Santa Ana will activate the object in accordance to a suggestion collected in Tijuana, and students in Tijuana will activate the object in accordance to a suggestion collected in Santa Ana.
In addition to updates that will be posted here, you can also find more images from the interactive stations, responses, and sample illustrations, on the bilingual blog we created to document and track our process:
– cog•nate collective