Domains, Publics and Access:About

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How this all started

This collection of forms of access for all audiences in the domains of art, science, culture, economics, politics and technology sprung from an invitation from Aisel Wicab to the person now writing this story. Being aware of my renowned obsession with the subject, Aisel invited me to set out an archiving project. The idea centered around building an archive dedicated to contemporary art that could be browsed online, since fostering these kinds of artistic practices is the mission of Fundación Alumnos 47, especially those based on education. The problem was, online access is not easy to achieve without a sizeable budget to allow for respecting current intelectual property agreements and a great amount of time alloted to negotiate each and every piece. In order to have an archive dedicated to a group of works of art, either their acquisition or reproduction and distribution rights have to be negotiated or, failing this, focus on those of public (albeit not so contemporary) domain. Another idea had to do with facilitating text consultation. If the archive were to be dedicated to reference books, catalogs are nothing, if not the most similar to open access, allowing for consultation and use of art publications. I take this oportunity to throw around a suggestion for open access to the dusty, forgotten catalogues of historical exhibitions in museums around the world. That would’ve been a great project: a suggestive image of the past displayed onscreen.

It is true some art publications are trying out new, open licenses such as Creative Commons. It is also true a significant segment of contemporary art is available online. But, it is also true we speak of a reduced number of texts and practices in both cases. To overcome the access fence, everything pointed to devoting oneself to the public domain and designing a project closely related to the digital humanities. In short, coming up with a solution to the proposal on the terms, timeline and budget laid out might not have been impossible, but the questions that kept arising guided the proposal elsewhere, without my noticing it. In the search for possible projects, every question led to the same problem over and over again, that of access.

From and art history perspective, the problem with access is not new. Art’s access to all areas of life is the burdensome inheritance of the first vanguards that artists and researchers have been struggling with ever since. Perhaps the matter of life’s access to art is a more current one. Regardless of whether it’s about politics, fashion, economics, food, insect sexuality, climate change, war, molecular physics, hunger or the service industry, today’s art is present, standing out in exhibitions, performances, residencies, biennials… linking artistic production with topical issues. Along this line, the old rule for blending art into life seems to have been reversed. Now, it’s become about blending life into art, as if art were the BBC. The result: framing the access problem in relation to contemporary art implied asking not about access to art, but access to everything else.

Following these concerns, the research for Domains, publics and access arose in january 2015. A collaboration between Fundación Alumnos47 and the Arts and Humanities Department at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - Unidad Lerma.

Paz Sastre

Mexico City, August 8th, 2016.

Budget

Listing Cost Unit # of Units Mexican Pesos
Wordpress Premium $1,626.22 year 1 year $1,626.22
Godaddy Domain $169.00 year 3 years $507
Server 1 $452.40 year 1 year $452.40
Server 2 $4,385 x year 1 year $4,385
Text Publishing $5,000.00 article 4 articles $20,000.00
Gabriela Ceja - Research Assistant $3,000.00 month 17 months $51,000.00
Miguel Errazu - Editing $4,000 x month 2 months $8,000
Eva Gómez - Editing $4,000 x month 4 months $16,000
Paz Sastre - Coordinator $20,000.00 project project $20,000.00
Alan Lazalde - Programming $16,000.00 wiki wiki $16,000.00
Postcards $2.494 1000 $2,494.00
Meetings Moderators $3,000.00 1 meeting 12 meetings $36,000.00
Meetings Streaming $3,364.00 12 meetings $40,368
Nastia Huerta $0,40 word 26,080 words $15,520.00

Budget implemented from January 2015 to June 2017: $196,352.62

About us

Coordinator / Paz Sastre (Madrid, 1975)

Paz is in charge of designing and coordinating the project, selecting initiatives, tools, manifestos, literature, references and potential interviewees. She is reponsible for editing the wiki and for the conferences to be carried out in Mexico City as part of the project’s on-site activities.

She works as a senior research professor of the Arts and Humanities Department at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - Lerma, for the Digital Arts and Communications degree. She’s been a member of Laboratorio del Procomún México and is part of Ícono14, an independent research group dedicated to aesthetics and new media in Madrid. She has worked on matters regarding archiving, information society, bureaucracy and public utility through the lens of visual studies. Most of her papers can be consulted online. She has collaborated on projects dedicated to the building, recovery and access of diferent archives, such as the Huichol people’s cultural heritage, Ana Victoria Jiménez’s memoirs on Mexican feminist activism, Laboratorio del Procomún México’s failed repository and Campechana Mental, a digital literacy project at the Rancho Electrónico hackerspace.

Research Assistant / Gabriela Ceja (Mexico City, 1980)

From 2015 to March 2016 she has been working on writing the project’s entries, uploading part of the literature and publishing many of the manifestos available in the wiki for consultation. She is also the voice you will hear conducting several interviews.

Gabriela is a visual artist, researcher and professor, a graduate of the National School of Visual Arts (ENAP) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), with a degree in Art History by the Sor Juana Cloister University (UCSJ). Her work in art and education centers around the concepts of work, identity and alienation, developed mainly in Mexico City and New York, exploring work environments, conducting psychosocial and inter-relational research to expand worker’s testimonies and realities. With art and education as tools for social transformation, she has designed multidisciplinary educational programs for the broadening of audiences and spaces. She has taught classes at UNAM, the Mexican Youth Institute, Casa Vecina, ENAP, Atelier Romo and Casa del Lago, among others. Along with Fran Ilich, she is also part of the Aridoamerica project, an alternative economy-praticing cooperative in constant dialgue and interaction with multiple art groups and international activism. As part of a recently started Masters in Labor Studies from the City University of New York she is currently conducting the Workers Art Workshop, a educational arts project dedicated to the development and expression of the working class.

Programming / Alan Lazalde (Mexico City, 1980)

Alan is responsible for the wiki’s setup and management, his journey across three different servers, rescuing mischivieous robots that had deleted a large amount of the site’s content and for being a buffer to my phobia of wikis and their programming.

He’s been the project’s technical consultant since mid-2015 when, because of him, we deciding on using MediaWiki. He is currently the Innovations Manager at kubo.financiero, a P2P lending company where he develops projects on technology, communications and design. He graduated from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) in 2009 with a Masters in Science and an Internet specialty. From 2010 to 2013 he was an engineering professor at Universidad Iberoamericana and UAM - Iztapalapa. He has also volunteered in free culture projects, such as SEGIB’s Innovación Ciudadana, FLOK Society in Ecuador and Goteo in Spain. From 2014 to 2016 he was the spokesperson for Wikimedia Mexico. Currently, he writes about digital culture for Eldiario.es and the blog published by Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona. Since 2009, he has been teaching tech courses designed for cultural agents indepently, with support from institutions such as Centro Cultural de España en México.

Production / Aisel Wicab (Mexico City, 1985)

Aisel is the project’s main supporter and has been with us from the beginning as a liason for Fundación Alumnos 47. She is an artist and cultural agent. Her production stems from collaborative processes towards technical appropriation, drawing, experimental film, animation, installations and permormance interventions in educational spaces. She is a co-founder of Luz y Fuerza, a light-examining collective she’s worked with in Mexico City since 2012. Luz y Fuerza was part of an international live-cinema group called Trinchera Ensamble from 2006 to 2011. She has conducted many workshop at home and abroad. Her work has been showcased in locations such as Centro Nacional de las Artes, Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris, Cineteca Nacional, Museo del Chopo, Museo de la Ciudad de México, Centro Cultural de España both in Mexico and Argentina, the FAC and the Engelman Ost Collection in Uruguay, Cinema La Cleff in Paris, the Sammlung Essl and the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Austria. She’s been supported through grants by the Multimedia Center at CENART-INBA in 2012, the BBVA-Bancomer Foundation in 2009 and the PAPIIT-UNAM program from 2007 to 2009.

Production / Dora Bartilotti (Veracruz, 1988)

Dora enters the project a little bit later to help as to coordinate the Meetings and since then she becomes a full member. She is a Mexican audiovisual artist who works and lives in Mexico City. She studied Design and Visual Communication at the Faculty of Arts and Design (UNAM) with specialization in Audiovisual and Multimedia. His production and research is developed in the field of design, audiovisual, electronic and performing art practices. She is co-founder and General Coordinator of BINARIO: International Festival of Art, Design and New Media Culture and was member of transdisciplinary Mexican collective #FFFF (2011-2014). He has taught courses and conferences about art-technology hybridization and in relation to the transdisciplinary creation, as well as participated in exhibitions and audiovisual presentations in spaces and events such as: Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Bellas Artes, Franz Mayer Museum, Intel Computer Clubhouse Mx, Centro Multimedia, Centro de Cultura Digital, Cineteca Nacional, FAD-UNAM, MUTEK Mx, Symposium on Music and Code / * VIVO * /, among others. In 2015 it was selected in the category of Technology, for the "We are creators" project of Chrysler 200. He is currently part of the Educational Research area at Alumnos47 Foundation.