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I'm deeply rooted in my native habitat. I represent the seventh generation of my family on my mother's side to have been born in Laredo, Texas, on the Texas/Mexico border, with family, friends, and cultural influence from both the US and Mexico. I grew up speaking English, Spanish, and a combination of the two, which is its own dialect.

One guiding principle of border tradition is called, in Mexican Spanish, rasquache. It's an approach to materiality using whatever is at hand to make something new. Growing up in a ranching family, my art always has had a practical backbone. Scraps of wood from construction projects, an extra sheet of vinyl, and workmanlike techniques all inform my vocabulary.

It's a source of sadness, confusion, and fascination that the border I grew up on has become so militarized, both politically and conceptually. For me, and my family for countless previous generations, that border was always porous. Berlin interests me as an international city facing similar issues of borders and mobility; and in Berlin's case, you lived in a wall-divided city that opened. Currently, the border cities of South Texas are doing the opposite.

Berlin affords me several opportunities that I believe can be transformative to my work and my outlook. The thought of living in a place where I don't speak the language, and how that would impact how I move through the world, excites me. I'm an artist who deals with the design and language of signage - roadway signs, municipal signs - and the notion of being surrounded by an entirely new visual vocabulary is just one place to start. Also, the thought of walking down an unfamiliar street with little concern for or responsibility to my community could change my patterns of thinking and feeling.

Regarding my work in Berlin, I've familiarized myself somewhat with your printmaking capabilities, which is something I'm eager to tackle.

Also, I have a concept for a fairly ambitious building project involving constructed and usable swing sets, language, and literal movement towards and away from each others' boundaries and trajectories. I want to bring to bear all my practical knowledge, my passion for play and engagement, and a new, more massive approach to problem-solving and materiality.

How will a project, and a residency, take place and "make" place, when place has always defined who you are? This is what I would like to find out.

 

All photos on this site were taken by Shantanu Starick as he has been travelling the world for his latest project, Pixel Trade.