Directly from the world of Caribbean delusion and after surviving the Guri-Guri Hurricane, the Marimonda pilot made it to Austin, TX, in time for the annual Danger Derby. Her vehicle, #35, a highly customized pinewood car featured a built-in anti-fire, water and gas attacks’ device, a turbo engine made out of pieces of an old tv set, and carbon yellow wings with laser lights.
Continue reading Marimonda Racer Classifies to the Second Phase of the Danger Derby 2013
Grafitti writing and street art have spread through the walls of Bogota and other Colombian cities during the last decade opening an important space of creative participation and expression for urban youth. Although political graffiti had been performed in public spaces since the 1960s around the country, the stylization of grafitti writing with all its colors, stencils, tags, and variety of scales was something unexplored in Colombia until recent years. Nowadays, it can be said that there is a solid street art scene in the major cities and that even a unique Colombian graffiti style has been developed through the appropriation of aesthetic resources and practices from the global street art and hip hop cultures. Despite the positive outcomes of empowering youth and diversifying the urban landscape, Colombian graffiti writers have been harassed by the police and condemned by conservative older generations. Those attacks have sometimes ended tragically as with the killing of the 16 years old artist Diego Felipe Becerra by a police officer in Bogota, August 2011. However, the condemnation and moral panics around graffiti writing in Colombia seem to have arrived to a turning point thanks to the unexpected consequences of the recent public actions of Canadian artist Justin Bieber and the declarations of the National Police Chief General Rodolfo Palomino few weeks ago. Continue reading The Colombian Graffiti Explosion : 24 Hours of Writing in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali
Although the power of music to elicit emotions has been widely recognized, the capacity of music to produce laugher has been relatively unexplored. First of all, It is possible to create musical jokes? It is possible to address humor through music? It is possible to make people laugh with a piece of music? Continue reading Music and Humor : The Cartoon Music Aesthetic of Carl Stalling
Fragmentation and discontinuity are the major characteristics of not only Bogotanian contemporary literature, but also of the urban and cultural landscape of the city. As other highly populated and chaotically grown Latin-American metropolis, the capital of Colombia became in the 20th Century a heterogenous and multipolar place, a patchwork of different geographies. Such lack of order and homogeneity has become a central research problem not only for urban planners, cultural critics, and literary scholars, but also for creative writers and artists who struggle to represent an image of the city. Bogota is like a kaleidoscope, a city fragmented at the symbolic and physical level, always in unpredictable change. “Navigating Bogota Literary Patchwork” is a project that intends to develop a geoweb-based platform and a mobile app for understanding and exploring a fragmented city.
Continue reading Navigating Bogota Literary Patchwork
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to contribute to the MediaCommons project by joining a survey on “How does gamification affect learning?” The idea of MediaCommons is to become a hub for scholarly conversation about born-digital scholarly processes for research, pedagogy, evaluation, publication, and community-building. The discussion about gamification and learning reveals some of the various perspectives and approaches that practitioners and researchers can take when applying game design into learning. Bellow I am re-blogging my contribution to the survey.
Continue reading Gamification and Learning Environments
Walking the Broadway at Los Angeles downtown turns into an investigation about the ruins of the 20th century entertainment industry. Footprints of movie palaces still remain visible. Their structures have been reappropriated though. Immigrant communities have reclaimed most of these architectural spaces and have redesigned them, adapting them to their informal commerce practices. Former cinema, nickelodeon, and vaudeville signage announces nowadays digital cameras, gold, religions, jewelry, sneakers, smartphones, and car stereos. Some of the details of the floors and the ceilings remain there as a testimony of their glory. Stages and sitting rooms have been transformed into warehouses that remain dark, cluttered with boxes and metallic shelves. Former entrances and reception halls now are display windows for commodity goods made in China, Mexico, and Taiwan. Layers of dust and pollution grow on the surfaces, and try to cover some visible cracks. The giant infrastructure of the glorious entertainment industry is now transformed by the everyday practices of the transitory inhabitants and dwellers of an international megapolis. Here is a collection of images I took during a recent walk through the Broadway. The photographs speak by themselves and are a homage to the jewels of architecture and media history that are still standing. A visual archeology of the public facades of the spaces where the movie audiences met at the beginning and first half of the 20th century.
Continue reading The Transformations of Movie Palaces
A recent national survey by the Pew Hispanic Center (2012) revealed that people from Latin American origins living in the USA that are usually categorized as “Hispanics” or “Latinos/as” do not identify with neither of those labels. While a majority (51%) said they most often identify themselves by their family’s country of origin, only 24% said they identify with a pan-ethnic label. More than two-to-one (69% versus 29%) of the respondents said that the Hispanic/Latino population in the USA (more than 50 million) has not a common culture, but multiple ones. As a person of South American origins, these findings don’t surprise me. I have been subject of such kind of categorization while the time I have spent in the USA and I have always struggle with the meaning of those terms. What are the implications of using any of those terms?
Continue reading The Hispanic/Latino Label in the USA: Pan-ethnic? Multi-racial?