Quick 15min excerpt taken from a recording of a live set played at Club Congress in Tucson.
And then everything changed. In less than a month, the largest student movement since 1968 has swept Mexico, changing the course of a presidential election and sparking the first popular opposition to the country’s television duopoly. To say that political events in Mexico are moving quickly would be an understatement. In the final days leading up to the July 1st presidential election and the aftermath that continues to unfold, the story develops at Twitter-speed.
The movement known as #YoSoy132 (“I am 132”) was born as a hashtag on the social media site in the days following May 11th, a day that will surely be remembered as a key moment in the 2012 Mexican presidential election. That day, the candidate Enrique Peña Nieto visited Ibero-American University in Mexico City, a campaign stop that turned out to be unlike any other in his march towards Los Pinos, the Mexican equivalent of the White House.
Peña Nieto was the candidate hand-picked by the old guard behind the Institutional Revolutionary Party (commonly called the PRI, an acronym of the party’s name in Spanish), who ruled Mexico for 70 years, until 2000. The PRI’s rule was characterized by wide-spread corruption, intimidation and physical violence, especially in the rural areas of the country. As a young and charismatic former governor of the state of Mexico, Peña Nieto was obviously thought to be the perfect face of the “new PRI” as the party planned to retake power.
However, to place Peña Nieto at the center of this story would be to repeat the same error made by the mainstream media. It is not the candidate who deserves attention for his ineptitude in dealing with unscripted campaign stops, such as that of May 11th, but rather the students’ lightning-quick response to how the event was played in the media. The major media outlets––all of whom seem to favor the PRI––and some political commentators dismissed the protests at the Ibero-American by characterizing them as being initiated by 131 students who were trained and paid by a rival political party. In response, 131 students of the university posted images of their ID cards to the internet, asserting their identity as enrolled, politically-aware students and denying any outside direction. The tweet “I am the 132nd” instantly became a cry of solidarity among young people against Mexico’s media monopolies and the political class behind them.
But beyond the obvious, #YoSoy132 provides a nearly perfect case-in-point of how social media continues to change the relationship between media and democracies around the globe. Idea-sharing was coupled with old-school people power techniques with a quickness that would have been unthinkable even ten years ago: within a month of the beginning of #YoSoy132, multiple marches of an estimated 100,000 people each took to the streets in Mexico City and were echoed across the country.
But again, to talk about the movement exclusively in terms of numbers, technology and speed is also to miss the mark about why this is an important moment in Mexican––and hemispheric––history. It’s the feeling in the streets: empowerment, jubilation, awakening. It’s the poetry in the manifestos, that declare: We are sons and daughters of a new Mexico who are yelling––enough! Never again! … This movement is nourished … from the roots of respect between human beings. The movement has grown, and will continue to grow.
It would be easy to dismiss all of this as a brief flash, destined to suffer the same fate as the movements of 2006, which were poised to topple the current power structures and yet seemed to fizzle out in the end. That year, after the last presidential election, thousands occupied one of Mexico City’s largest streets for weeks in response to perceived electoral fraud. At the same time, the state capital of Oaxaca was taken over by citizens demanding the ouster of the corrupt state governor, and Mexico's political class was shocked by then-president Vicente Fox's use of violence against protesters in the city of Atenco––an incident in which Peña Nieto collaborated.
But just because these popular movements were successfully repressed by the ruling elite doesn’t mean that the rancor that spawned them was ever addressed or remediated. On the contrary, by relying on the timeless dirty political techniques of murder, disappearance, rape, torture, and biased reporting in the media, the ruling class in Mexico has only stoked the flames of popular indignation. Like a forest fire that continues to burn in the soil and later spontaneously jumps into the treetops, the push for a more democratic and egalitarian Mexico continues. And in an ever more connected world, direct political oppression becomes an increasingly risky game.
#YoSoy132 moves at a pace of hundreds or even thousands of individual messages per hour, pushed by a generation that is able to couple the hyper-literacy of the digital age with a political consciousness drawing on generations of struggle. They have organized their own marches, presidential debates, and have brought to the fore the anti-democratic tendencies of their country’s television duopoly.
But what will be the movement’s role post-election? Is this the “Mexican Spring,” following the example of the movements that swept the Arab world in 2011? Will this be the fire that burns the establishment to ashes, fertilizing the soil for the growth of a more democratic Mexico?
Stay tuned––preferably not to television, but rather to Twitter.
Collaboration between physical theater groups Nemcatacoa (Bogotá), Carpetbag Brigade (San Francisco, CA) with music and words by Verbo•bala (Tucson, AZ) and Hojarasca (Carmen de Viboral, Colombia). Debut in Carmen de Viboral and later performed in Bogotá at the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro. Videos from the creation process in El Carmen de Viboral, Colombia:
Solo durational performance art piece exploring the somatic experience of writing a poem. Installed for over three hours, the performer slowly moves through the body states of turning sensory experience and inner inspiration into poetry. An experiment in symbol, meaning and metaphor.
Lead photo by Beth Suby.
NoVOGRAFÍAS: time it takes excerpt from a performance installation by logan phillips
production assistance: Melissa Holden Ed Briggs Noah Suby David central school project, bisbee, arizona
2011 bisbee, arizona dirtyverbs.com
I.Sunset after the long day
So many things a bullet can do and most of all only one. The weather just turned in Tucson; it hadn’t seemed so cold this morning.
Most of all in this one, this late dawn-drenched pueblo, sun metal-warm, it hadn’t seemed so cold this morning until bullet screamed first.
Gunmetal warm, tear-split pueblo, a bullet interrupts, echoes, lingers until all have screamed without wanting. An exit wound in me, in every chest:
one bullet can find many bodies. The political climate had slowly turned, unforcast violence in every chest; so many things a bullet can do.
II. For my mother’s favorite politician
Most of all only one: her smile rare for política. Smile, the kind that seems a heart. This morning your breaths are yours again.
A política rare, smiling: contact at palms, one by one. That morning your breaths stolen. Finding them floating, you inhale them back.
Palms in contact, each one with tears beading in palms, find ourselves floating–pull each other back– a smile is a circle we inhale,
deeply, until like you, we smile the kind that seems a heart. A circle breathed for each other but most of all for only one.
III. After Barack Obama
How well we have loved, each of us, in our time, widening ourselves into circles, holding all inside our ribs.
But each of us in this time– our instincts sharpened for gain– hold all we can inside our stomachs until each, alone, is sick with wanting.
Now, sharpen our instincts for empathy, expand our moral imaginations until solo sick wanting, left alone, evaporates. We make believe
that all is already here, widening the circle of our concern, condensing our belief that now, making each other well, we will love.
Solo performance art piece exploring the somatic experience of writing a poem. 13 sealed envelopes were given to the audience, each reading "open on 1/1/11." Second in the NoVOGRAFÍAS series.
NoVOGRAFÍAS: poembirth excerpt from a performance by logan phillips
production assistance: maya asher heather wodrich
camera: heather wodrich
2010 tucson, arizona dirtyverbs.com
Preparations: [gallery link="file"]
[nggallery id=9] Puerto Libertad / Puerto Peñasco / Isla de San Jorge.
Afternoon arrangement of molecules, novel, not normal, a pulling together of similar things: minerals, wavelengths of sound, frequency of the sun, fins and wingtip feathers over bright water.
Desert conversions: calcium into bone, copper into bullet, chapopote into lightbulb, smoke into sky:
aquí donde nacía el agua, desert petrol town, donde se da luz al humo, dirt street, waves & wind, steam & turbine scream. Smiling teeth through dust, improbable laughter. Desert boom town, ocotillo fence & diablitos.
Sun paint path on sea, to horizon. Sun walk on water, transverse lungs like air. All the favorite rock smelted into spoons. Waiting-to-be-found islands of plastic where jellyfish dryhump water bottles, our shared tendency toward impossible love.
A sailboat riding smoke into sky.
Descargar todo el disco // Download all 11 tracks here. (ZIP file, 58mb)
Recording from a walking performance: on foot from Colonia Roma to the heart of Mexico City and back on the night of the country's bicentennial.
Spoken performance art piece transmitted live via internet from Mexico City to Heredia, Costa Rica as part of Sotavento Theater Group's "PERFORGRAFÍAS" event. While audience members waited to enter further into the performance space, they watched the live-transmitted piece on the monitor while musician Mario Corrales generated a sonic landscape.
Un performance de Gustavo Monge.
Artistas invitadas: Marta Vazquez, Mario Corrales, Fiorella Álvarez, Lauren Latifa y desde México en vivo Logan Phillips.
A demo laid down in a hurry with my compañeros Jason Andolino and Cayson Morrison in Arizona. It tells the (shortened) story of the Bisbee Deportation of 1917 and other early 20th-century race / labor struggles in the state. There are so many strange and sickening parallels between the xenophobia of that time and that which we experienced in 2010 & beyond. Don't ever think that history is irrelevant.
Here the mines run 24 hours making bullets to fight foreign powers. When the sun comes up it is made of sangre y cobre, the two mix to make profit in this company town, el porfiriato que nunca se terminó, más bien se migró al norte. to Arizona where white men make an American wage Mexicans make half as much, citizens or not, their sweat mixed with rage that summer when Mexicans went on strike, the white men stood with them, knowing they were unequally paid but equally exploited
No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir
One morning in July the sheriff woke up early put badges on 2,000 white men put rifles in their 4,000 hands put a machine gun atop a company car drove through the shacks of Tintown and Zacatecas Canyon, asking Are you American or are you not? and by American they meant white, by American they meant docile worker, by American they meant corporate chump
They pulled dark men from their wives and marched them into company boxcars shoulder to shoulder only the summer heat between them, rolled them on company rails across the state line and left the 1200 men in the desert Told never to come back, not to our state not to our Nation at War, not to our White Man’s Camp.
No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir
Puros jornaleros sus derechos robados piel oscura sin derechos humanos Les decían braceros, puros cuerpos baratos, bajo el sol, esclavizados brazos
That was Bisbee 1917, this is Arizona 2010 If you think SB 1070 is anything new if you think Joe Arpaio is anything new you have a whole lot of reading to do
The copper star in our flag was always raised on the back of immigrants, Slavs, Mexicans, Chinese demonized and deported at the earliest convenience
Pero ya volvemos a salir, and in this ciclical cynical history, and we will not be silent
El pueblo, callado, jamás será escuchado
My state of has a long history of people who demonize immigrants for political gain But Arizonan politicians are also immigrants, their legality just a twist of history.
No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir
Sudor y sangre algodón y cobre
Vocals & mastering: Logan Phillips. Bass & recording: Jason Andolino Organ & percussion: Cayson Morrison. Additional vocal: Nayla Altamirano. Artwork: Adam Cooper-Terán.
Performance art intervention in front of the Contemporary Art Museum of Oaxaca, together with five other artists from all over the US and Mexico. While mostly blocking one of the primary tourist corridors of Oaxaca's centro, performers yelled, whispered and purred questions and statements to passerbys on the sidewalk. While the bilingual text itself was improvisational, its structure was developed by Phillips in collaboration with the group.
ARTE MANDADO intervención de movimiento, cuerpos en resistencia y voz
ARTISTAS: Saúl López Velarde (Oaxaca, MX) Nayla Altamirano (Distrito Federal, MX) Logan Phillips (Tucson, EE.UU. / DF, MX) Heather Wodrich (Tucson, EE.UU.) Luisa Restrepo (Oaxaca, MX / Colombia) Zachary James Watkins (Oakland, EE.UU)
Artistas de diferentes lugares y disciplinas convergen en la reintervención, en este caso preformativa, de la fachada del Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MACO) de Oaxaca.
DESCRIPCIÓN: Mercado de frutas. Art market. Mercado humano. Superávit. Yo soy un artista oaxqueño. Se vende ¿te vendes? Foto foto foto foto. Mercado de pulgas. El consumo me consume ¿te consumiste? Yo soy un artista contemporáneo oaxqueño. ¿Cuánto vales? I’m a Oaxacan artist. ¿Quieres comprar? Art is cheap. Collect / recollect. Llévense su foto con un artista oaxqueño. Yo hago performance en Oaxaca. ¿Qué es esto? Mercado de valores. Mercado sexual. ¿Mande? Black market. Art is cheap in Mexico. Can you take my picture? Yo nunca compro arte. ¿Me subes a tu Facebook? Cómprate la acción de un artista oaxqueño. ¿Dónde está el mercado? ¿El mercado marcado? 5 pesos la foto con el artista oaxqueño. Now now now. ¿Me estás grabando? Valor. ¿Cuánto vale? Yo quiero. El folklor es la muerte de la cultura. Yo quiero ver más gringos en Oaxaca. ¡Fuera! Art tourism. Te vendí, nos vendimos ¿te vendes? I am an American tourist. Mercado de artesanías. ¿Tú vives en el mercado? Art market. Yo vivo del arte. Yo soy un artista oaxqueño. ¿Mande? Yo vivo del arte. Nadie compra arte. ¿A dónde me llevan? El consumo me consume, ¿te consumiste? Buy my art? Take a picture. Export / exploit. Tómase su foto con el artista internacional. Llévelo llévelo bien barato seis por uno. Mercado de flores. Envíame por correo electrónico. Yo soy un artista conceptual oaxqueño. Es más fácil comprar que entender. Curar / curate. Mercado barato. ¿Nos llevas al mercado? Book market. Déficit. Super market. El super mata mercados. Gains / losses. Artemandado. ¿Mande? Artemandado. Artemandado. Ar. Te. Man. Da. Do.
Un colibrí llega a mi azotea chilangay de repente todo me parece posible, aunque improbable: flores donde no hay colores sino cemento, metrópolis construida sobre metrópolis, metrópolis suspendida sobre lago, nervios tensos esperando tremores, craneos esperando volcanes, en fin todo, al final, todo finalmente.
Entonces colíbrí, ¿así? ¿Pero cómo? Esta ciudad es cemento oxidado, ciudad suspendida entre viaductos y periféricos, aviones internacionales y humo humano ahorcador, colibrí júrame que vives así.
He oido lo que dicen de ti. Que eres el alma de los guerreros aztecas que fallaron en batalla, que eres el alma de las madres perdidas en el parto, eso dicen, pero nunca les di la razón,
porque de ser así colibrí, esta ciudad estaría llena de ti: viento vibrante, lleno del llanto de tus alas, nubes negrillas resplandecientes con tus plumas, mujeres acaso madres, muertas, chupaflores en cada florero, zumbeando como moscas crecidas. Por cada mexica muerto en el hecho de hacer ciudad, un chupamirto aletea por un lecho de urbanidad: cada mestizo urbano aplastado en el choque de dos mundos, cada borracho azteca aplastado por el metro, colibris viviendo en los tuneles como murciélagos.
Pero hoy te vi, colibrí, llegaste a mi azotea entre el alambre viejo y caca de gato aun más vieja, tú llegaste, y ya no tengo recurso, tengo que creer
que en esta ciudad hay un sinfín de colibrís escondidos, viviendo clandestinos en viveros, vivaces, devorando el mercado de Jamaica por las noches, atracando el azúcar, ratas de dos alas, borrachos perdidos por las aguas frescas, hambrientos, locos de horchata, no me queda de otra tengo que creer
que hay corazones latiendo mil veces por minuto, que hay alas batiendo doscientas veces por segundo, que hay vuelo esperando a las madres muertas, que hay un cielo heredado por aztecas asesinados, así, tengo que creer
que aún hay colibrís en la Cd. de México, DFectuoso ombligo donde todo es posible, pero la vida no es segura, y tengo que creer que un día de estos nuestras alas batirán este humo.
Individual exposition of new stencil graffiti work and digital prints, first in the NoVOGRAFÍAS ("new writing system") series. This set of five designs focused on five words: blackbook, horizon, arizona horizona, méxico cíclico and dirtyverbs. The inauguration included a performance of related poems.
NoVOGRAFíAS verbo, video y graffiti por LOGAN PHILLIPS dirtyverbs.com
inauguración SÁBADO 24 de julio 2010 19:00 entrada gratis
@Tassajara Protasio Tagle 132 Col. San Miguel Chapultepec México DF cafetassajara.com facebook.com/cafetassajara
I'm currently working on a complete redesign & reorganization of this website. Expect more content in an easier-to-read format, more visual art, ink scans, pdfs, podcast, etc. Gonna be good. Gonna take some time. At the moment, I'm working on organizing the archives. Take a look... writing & media from the last five years. Time flies frequently. I request the window seat. Hasta soon,
Audio score for video performance art.
idea original: Nayla Altamirano cámara y edición: Moisés Regla arte sonoro: Logan Phillips vestuario: Gamaliel Islas performance: Oriana Jimenez y Nayla Altamirano asistente: Ary Ehrenberg agradecimientos: f4 libre / Marcos Rossi
SB1070 is a bill that is sitting on Gov. Brewer's desk right now awaiting her signature or veto. If she signs it, or if she chooses to do nothing, the bill will become law, and police all over the state of Arizona will be mandated to check the migration status of anyone they come into contact with.
So our position is a little like hers: we do nothing, and this thing becomes law. If we make our voices heard, maybe, just maybe, we can stop this.
In my travels I have the blessing and curse of telling people I meet that I am from Arizona. If they know the state, they usually smile and we talk about its natural beauty. If they've never been, they usually say something to the effect of, "Oh, you're from the state that wouldn't recognize Martin Luther King Day until the NFL threatened to boycott." If SB1070 becomes law, we will once again affirm the reputation as being one of the most backwards states in the nation.
We do not want cops enforcing immigration policy. We want cops enforcing criminal law.
being born and raised in Cochise County, I was privileged with a childhood surrounded by people with many different backgrounds. In part because of my many Mexican-American friends while I was an adolescent, I have gone on to learn Spanish and lead an artistic career very much connected to Mexico.
Yes, Mrs. Brewer, our state and country is badly in need of immigration reform and a comprehensive response to our border issues. SB1070 is not either of those things, rather, the bill further cements Arizona's image as a racist and backward state. Like being 50th in the nation in per-capita education funding, racist legislation is NOT something to be proud of. This isn't "tough on immigration," this is unconstitutional.
I should mention that I come from a family of Irish-Slavic decent. It is unlikely that police would stop me and ask me to prove my citizenship. However, throughout my life I have been taught not to defend only my rights, but those of others as well. Mexican-Americans are integral members of our communities, and this bill, if signed into law, will open up the door to more systemic discrimination.
Mrs. Brewer, history is not on the side of the hysteric anti-immigrant lawmakers, sheriffs and other demagogues. Though you will face initial criticism for vetoing the bill, it is the only sensible and human action to take.
Thank you for your time,
Logan T Phillips
Here is a short piece of videoarte done by my homeboy Carlos Altamirano in México, DF. I collaborated and did the audio for the piece, something I love to do and was happy to have been asked. Carlos did the piece as part of UNAM's ArteShock, which was a televised competition between artists in different categories, almost like a poetry slam for all kinds of different disciplines. And he won the videoarte category! Without further ado, Pies Sobre la Urbe:
A collaboration with the group Vessel and their piece "Transfix," directed and conceived by Rachel Bowditch. I joined the troupe for a shoot in Imperial Dunes, California, and later created a spoken remix of TS Eliot's "The Wasteland" which was performed at the Transfix retrospective at the monOrchid Gallery in Phoenix, April 2010.
Transfix Retrospective 1996-2010 By Vessel
At Monorchid Gallery, Phoenix April 2nd 2010
In collaboration with Verbobala, SonicAnta, Chris Loomis Photography, Saskia Jorda, Simon de Aguero and the PHX Fringe Festival.
Directed and Conceived by Rachel Bowditch
Glenn Weyant – Electric Ferris Box/ Sonic Anta Logan Phillips – Live Spoken Remix of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland (Verbobala) Adam Cooper-Terán – Live Video remix (Verbobala) Simon De Aguero (Tensile Fabric Installation) Saskia Jorda (“Escaping White” - White Ladder Installation) Tedy Isaacks (Lighting Designer) Chris Loomis (Photography) Alexander Oliszewski (Monorchid/Imperial Dunes Video) Jake Pinholster (Sedona Video Footage)
Video Edited by Adam Cooper-Terán
Performed by: Lea Bender, Rachel Bowditch, Logan Phillips, Michael Thompson, Katie Kotulak, Laura Miner, Jamie Haas, Kate Kugler, Genea Sanchez, Erica Majtenyi, and Kyle Wills.
Performers at Imperial Dunes, CA February 2010 Anne Wareing, Philip Zisman, Aaron Wester, Stacey Sotosky, Nick Broderick, Erica Majtenyi, Rachel Bowditch and Logan Phillips.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: White banners commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art for the Art of Maintenance at the Scottsdale Canal (January 2010)
Websites: www.rachelbowditch.com www.verbobala.com www.sonicanta.com www.chrisloomis.com www.phxfringe.org www.monorchid.com www.saskiajorda.com www.dirtyverbs.com. www.vesselproject.org