SPARKS April 2022

Decolonial Media Art Beyond 530 Years: the future-past vs. coloniality

Moderated by Liliana Conlisk Gallegos and Kathy Rae Huffman

Date/Time: Friday April 29, 2022 / 13:00 PDT/ 16:00 EDT/20:00 GMT

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** Session Video **

Coloniality refers to the colonial ideals, concepts, formats, and organizations which continue to produce decontextualized knowledge which ignores that there have always been other ways of doing, thinking, valuing, and being. Decoloniality seems new due to this decontextualization. Decolonial consciousness and praxis rooted in oppressed cultures, has been a true art form for surviving and resisting white supremacy and eurocentrism for over 530 years. Media Artists demonstrate this through artwork that is conscious, ecological, unable to separate from social justice practice, and community building. 

Nora Al-Badri

Nora Al-Badri is a self-taught multi-disciplinary and conceptual media artist with a German-Iraqi background. Her works are research-based as well as paradisciplinary and as much post-colonial as post-digital. She lives and works in Berlin and graduated in political sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main.


Bartira’s work speculates on the digital age. She investigates ways in which sonic inputscan challenge the understanding of existing ecologies, feeding from contemporary implications such as technology omnipresence, global standardization and immigration to overview educated narratives in the context of a heavily technology mediated digital age.

Ricardo DomĂ­nguez

Ricardo Dominguez was a founding member of Critical Art Ensemble and a cofounder of Electronic Disturbance Theater 1.0 (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project with Brett Stalbaum, micha cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border).

RaĂşl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet

Interdisciplinary artist, writer, curator, researcher, community activist, and Fulbright scholar. With a Ph.D. from Duke University and an MFA in Intermedia Arts from the University of Iowa, Ferrera-Balanquet is a Founder member of Latino Midwest Video Collective and Laboratorio Cartodigital, and member of the Mariel Generation. He is a Latinx Cuban American living in Los Angeles, California and Merida, Mexico.

Marina Gržinić

Marina Grzinic from Ljubljana, Slovenia, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna since 2003, heads the Studio for Post-Conceptual Art Practices and together with her partner Aina Ĺ mid, art historian from Ljubljana, has been active in the field of video and media installations and experimental documentaries since 1982. In their 40-year history of interventions in this medium from the space of former Eastern Europe, they have made 40 video works and had hundreds of presentations worldwide.

José Lozano

Jose Lozano is a multimedia, Chicano Border artist for over 40 years. He was born in LA and grew up in the border between Ciudad Juarez and Del Paso. He has exhibited in numerous art galleries, curated shows, written children’s books, painted murals in public art around Los Angeles, has lead community centered art projects with communities in South Central, Highland Park, and Lincoln Heights. His work is included in the LACMA collection and is a recipient of the Getty Grant for established Artists.

Facebook: Jose Lozano

JesĂşs Maya and Paloma E. Villegas

Jesús Maya es un poeta y organizador comunitario mexicano que escribe acerca de vivir en el barrio, migrar, y mantenerse conectados con comunidades diversas. Sus poemas aparecen en el libro La Tolvanera (Latin American Researchers of Ontario, 2011) y las antologías Iguana Escribir El Exilio (Enana Blanca 2007), Lumbre y Relumbre: Antología Selecta de la Poesía Hispano Canadiense (Editorial Antares 2013), y Changing the Face of Canadian Literature (Guernica Editions, 2020). Sus escritos también han sido musicalizados, inspirado un cortometraje, y publicados en periódicos, revistas, libros académicos y sitios de internet.

JesĂşs Maya is a Mexican poet and community organizer who writes about what it means to live in a marginalized urban neighborhood, migrate, and maintain connections with diverse communities. His poems appear in his book La Tolvanera (Latin American Researchers of Ontario, 2011) and several anthologies including Iguana Escribir El Exilio (Enana Blanca 2007), Lumbre y Relumbre: AntologĂ­a Selecta de la PoesĂ­a Hispano Canadiense (Editorial Antares 2013), and Changing the Face of Canadian Literature (Guernica Editions, 2020). His writing has also been musicalized, has inspired a short film, and been published in newspapers, magazines, academic books and internet sites. 

Paloma E. Villegas es migrante y profesora de sociologĂ­a en la at California State University San Bernardino. Además de investigar y enseñar sobre las intersecciones de la migraciĂłn, ciudadanĂ­a, fronteras, raza y genero, tambiĂ©n practica la pintura, escultura y poesĂ­a. Es la autora del libro North of El Norte: Illegalized Mexican Migrants in Canada (University of British Columbia Press, 2020).

Paloma E. Villegas is an immigrant and Assistant professor of sociology at California State University San Bernardino. In addition to researching and teaching at the intersections of migration, citizenship, borders, race, and gender, she also engages in artistic practices including painting, sculpture, and poetry. She is the author of North of El Norte: Illegalized Mexican Migrants in Canada (University of British Columbia Press, 2020). 

Praba Pilar

Praba Pilar is a queer diasporic Colombian artist and scholar with an interdisciplinary practice that engages the public in resistance and resurgence. Over the last two decades, she has focused her work on disrupting the colonial logics that underlie the worlding of emerging technologies.

Gustavo A. RincĂłn

Dr. Gustavo Alfonso Rincon (Ph.D., M.Arch., M.F.A., B.S., B.A.) is educated as an architect, artist, and media arts researcher scholar. His research has been exhibited nationally and internationally, while simultaneously acting as an practitioner, and thought leader in the fields of Art, Architecture, Media Arts/Computational design, and Speculative Design. Rincon’s dissertation “Shaping Space as Information: A Conceptual Framework for New Media Architectures,” was earned as a member of the AlloSphere Research Group in the California NanoSystems Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara. As a Ph.D, Rincon created curatorial projects, curriculum, educational/community outreach programs, exhibitions, events, and research works, traversing the domains of the Arts, Computational Design, Engineering, and Sciences.

Cynthia Vázquez and Jennifer Clay

Cynthia Vazquez

Cynthia is a doctoral candidate at UC San Diego in the Ethnic Studies Department with a graduate specialization in Critical Gender Studies. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar in humanities and social sciences, her research is situated at the nexus of critical theories of Indigenous transborder migrations, Indigeneity, settler-colonialism, binational schooling, Indigenous & border epistemologies, and Latinidad. 

Born in LA, brought up in Las Vegas, called San Diego her home for ten years. Cynthia identifies as Xicana and is deeply involved in relationship making with artists and local tribal community based on land pedagogies, liberatory practices, and resistance.

Jennifer Clay

Jennifer is the daughter of a boarding school survivor and both sides of her family are rooted in the red earth of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and has worked as a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Board-Certified Art Therapist for over fifteen years serving the Kumeyaay community in San Diego as well as Native families on the Big Island of Hawaii. She serves as adjunct faculty with the graduate art therapy program at Dominican University and is the Assistant Director of the Native Resource Center at San Diego State University.

Isidro Zepeda

Isidro Zepeda is a husband and father to two beautiful children: Eligio Mazatlzin and Marisol Tonantzin. He is also an artist from the Coachella Valley, and an Assistant Professor of English at Crafton Hills Community College.


Instagram: @huitzilinmaize

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