CALA Alliance supports artist residency exchange program with Guadalajara


Jose: IN SOUNDS OF CULTURA "S-O-C," “CALA” CELEBRACION ARTISTICA DE LAS AMERICAS ALLIANCE HAS SELECTED GUADALAJARA ARTIST COLLECTIVE INTERSPECIFICS AS THE 2018 RESIDENT ARTIST FOR THEIR ARTIST RESIDENCY AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM. BETWEEN PHOENIX ARIZONA AND GUADALAJARA JALISCO MEXICO JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS COLLECTIVE IS CASSANDRA HERNANDEZ FAHAM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR CALA ALLIANCE. LESLIE GARCIA ARTIST WITH INTERSPECIFICS AND PALOMA LOPEZ ARTIST WITH INTERSPECIFICS. BIENVENIDOS. CASSANDRA TELL US YOUV’E BEEN ON THE SHOW BEFORE TO TALK ABOUT THE PROGRAM BUT REMIND US THE DETAILS OF IT.

Cassandra Hernandez Faham: YEAH IT’S A PROGRAM THAT LAUNCHED LAST YEAR. IT’S A COLLABORATION BETWEEN CALA, ASU ART MUSEUM, AND AN ORGANIZATION IN GUADALAJARA CALLED “PAOS” PROGRAMA ANNUAL DO OPEN STIDIOS WE’VE CREATED AN ARTIST RESIDENCY EXCHANGE WHERE WE SUPPORT A PHOENIX LATINO ARTIST WITH ALL EXPENSES COVERED TO GO TO GUADALAJARA FOR SIX WEEKS AND TO DEVELOP PROJECTS AND WE ALSO HOST AN ARTIST FROM GUADALAJARA FOR SIX WEEKS AS WELL TO DO CREATIVE INVESTIGATIONS AND DEVELOP WORK.

Jose: AND THIS IS THE SECOND GO-AROUND?

Cassandra Hernandez Faham: THIS IS THE SECOND, YES. SO INTERSPECIFICS ARE THE SSECOND GUADALAJARA ARTIST

Jose: WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT CREATIVE INVESTIGATION YOU ARE REALLY TALKING ABOUT INVESTIGATIONS ON THIS ONE. WE HAVE A VIDEO WE SHOWED IN THE INTRODUCTION AND I THINK WE HAVE SOME MORE THAT WE’RE GOING TO SHOW HERE AND THEN SOME PICTURES THAT WILL KIND OF GIVE PEOPLE A SENSE OF WHAT IS GOING ON.

Jose: PALOMA, BEFORE WE GET TO THE STILL PICTURES. TELL ME WHAT WE JUST SAW?

Paloma Lopez: THAT WAS MICRO RITMOS WHICH IS MICRO RYTHMS. IT’S A PIECE WE MADE IN COLOMBIA LAST YEAR. IT IS USING THE ELECTRICAL MICRO VOLTAGE OF BACTERIA TO PRODUCE ALL THIS FLICKER AND ALL THE PATTERNS IN THE LIGHTS. IT ACTUALLY MAKES THE LITTLE SCORE WE SAW ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN. TO MAKES LIKE AN IMMERSIVE ART INSTALATION THE AUDIENCE CAN ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE THE FLUCTUATIONS IN ENERGY OF THE BACTERIA AS THE MAIN SOURCE OF SOUND.
Jose: WE WERE WATCHING A CONCERT PERFORMED BY BACTERIA? FASCINATING. BEFORE WE GET INTO MORE DETAIL ON THE SPECIEFICS ON THESE PERFORMANCES. LESLIE, TELL US ABOUT INTERSPECIFICS THE GROUP AND HOW LONG IT’S EXCISTED AS I UNDERSTAND IT IS MULTICOUNTRY?

Leslie Garcia: IT IS FIVE ARTISTS. ONE FROM BRAZIL, CHILE, MEXICO CITY, PALAO LOPEZ AND MYSELF. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR FIVE YEARS NOW WITH THE ARTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. OUR GOAL IS TO DEVELOP OPENSOURCE TOOLS THAT CAN BE REPRODUCED FOR WORKSHOPS. WE HAVE A WEBSITE WITH THE DETAILS FOR EVERY DEVICE WE DESIGN. SO THEY SERVE TWO PURPOSES: SCIENTIFIC ARTISTIC RESEARCH TOOL AND AS ARTWORK USING TECHNIQUES FROM THE INDUSTRY AND DESIGN, SCULPTURE. IT IS VERY DIFFERENT AREAS.

Jose: WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION TO DO THIS AND WITH THIS PARTICULAR SET OF ARTISTS?

Leslie Garcia: I THINK IT IS SOMETHING… I DONT KNOW. ARTIST ALWAYS RELATED TO SCIENCE.

Jose: ARE YOU A SCIENTIST BY TRAINING?

Leslie Garcia: NO, I AM A DESIGNER BY TRAINING BUT WE LIKE TO THINK ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF EVERYONE BEING A SCIENTIST AND EVERYONE BEING AN ARTIST. WE WANT TO DEVELOP THE CURIOSITY IN THE PEOPLE AND MAKE THIS REALITY SOME SORT OF POSSIBILITY. YOU CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT IF YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO RESEARCH. IF YOU HAVE THE CURIOUSITY TO GET INTO THESE QUESTIONS.

Jose: WE GOT SEVERAL STILLS. THEY’RE ALL GOING TO COME UP AT ONCE BUT I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE THEY ARE FURTHER ILLUSTRATIONS, SOME OF WHAT WE SAW, AND THEN ALSO WHAT LOOKS TO ME LIKE A PETRI DISH WITH BACTERIA ON IT DOING SOMETHING. SO YOU WILL HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT ONE TO ME.

PALOMA LOPEZ: THE ONE IN THE PERTI DISH IS NOT A BACTERIA IT’S CALLED ---THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST INTELLIGENT MICRO BEINGS IN THE WORLD. IT CAN SOLVE URBANISTIC PROBLEMS. IT’S BEEN USED TO SOLVE URBANISTIC PROBLEMS.

Jose: IN JAPAN? IS THAT RIGHT?

PALOMA LOPEZ: YES. THEY ACTUALLY USE IT TO MAKE AGAIN THE WHOLE RAY -- IN JAPAN. WHAT THIS ORGANISM DOES IS IT ALWAYS LOOKS FOR THE FOOD SOURCE IN A WAY WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF ENERGY REQUIRED. THEY LEARN THROUGH IT TO MAKE A POINT TO ANOTHER POINT WITH THE LESS AMOUNT OF ENERGY.

Jose: SO CASSANDRA, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, PALOMA AND LESLIE ARE WORKING WITH SCIENTISTS AT ASU.

Cassandra Hernandez Faham: THEY ARE WORKING ON A PROJECT CALLED SPECULATIVE COMMUNICATION. THEY ARE WORKING WITH PROFESSORS IN THE BIODESIGN INSTITUTE. THEY JUST ORDERED SOME BACTERIA TODAY. THEY ARE ALSO CREATING TOOLS AND MICROSCOPES AND THEY ARE ALSO GOING TO BE OFFERING PROGRAMS FREE TO THE PUBLIC WHERE THEY WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THEIR WORK AND THEY ARE ALSO GOING TO BE CLOSING THE RESIDENCY WITH A PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK THEY ARE DEVELOPING AS PART OF THAT.

Jose: SO LESLIE HOW DOES THAT WORK? ARE YOU TURNING THESE SCIENTISTS INTO ARTISTS?

Leslie Garcia: NO ACTUALLY, WE BELIEVE IT IS A RELATION. EVERY SCIENTIST HAS A LITTLE BIT OF ARTIST IN ITSELF AND EVERY ARTIST HAS A LITTLE BIT OF SCIENCE. SO WE JUST TRYING TO PUT THESE TWO REALITIES TOGETHER. IT IS SOMETHING VERY -- LIKE THE RENAISSANCE WAS ALL ABOUT THAT. IT WAS ALL ABOUT TAKING SCIENCE

Jose: DA VINCI WAS AN ARTIST AND A SCIENTIST.

Leslie Garcia: EXACTLY. IN A WAY WE ARE TAKING THIS TECHNIQUE TO PRODUCE KNOWLEDGE AND ARTWORK AT THE SAME TIME.

Jose: TELL US ABOUT THE EXHIBITION COMING UP THAT CASSANDRA WAS REFERRING TO IN.

Paloma Lopez: IT’S GOING TO BE A PERFORMANCE. A DEMONSTRATION PERFORMANCE AS WE CALL IT. WE ARE WORKING WITH A NEW BACTERIA THAT ACTUALLY MAKES THESE BEAUTIFUL PATTERNS WE ARE USING WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BEFORE IT WAS JUST THE SCORE NOW IT’S A WHOLE COLLABORATION BETWEEN THESE A I LOOKING TO THE BACTERIA AND THE BACTERIA BEHAVING NORMALLY BEHAVES AND US HUMANS PLAYING ALL TOGETHER IN A COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT.

Jose: SOUNDS FASCINATING. REMIND US AGAIN WHEN THIS IS GOING TO BE CASSANDRA?

Cassandra Hernandez Faham: THIS IS ON MAY 3RD IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX. YOU CAN VISIT THE CALA WEBSITE.
Jose: AND THERE IS SOME TALKS COMING UP IS THAT RIGHT?
Cassandra Hernandez Faham: YES WE HAVE A TALK APRIL 17TH AT 7:30 AT THE ASU GRAND STREET STUDIOS IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX. AND THE PERFORMANCE IS ON MAY 3RD ALSO IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX.

Jose: WHEN DO YOU RETURN TO MECXICO?

PALOMA LOPEZ: ON MAY THE 6TH.

Jose: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING TO PHOENIX AND JOINING US ON THE SHOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS IT’S FACINATING. AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TONIGHT. FOR "HORIZONTE" AND ARIZONA PBS, I AM JOSÉ CÁRDENAS. HAVE A GOOD EVENING.

"HORIZONTE" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS. MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

CALA Alliance bridges the gap between Arizona and Guadalajara artists, offering them an all-expenses-paid artists’ residency exchange program.

Casandra Hernandez Faham helps run CALA Alliance, which launched last year. She describes it as a collaboration between CALA, ASU Art Museum and a Guadalajara organization. The residency exchange program lasts six weeks, and the goal is to support Latino artists.

The art project taking place at ASU Art Museum this year is called Interspecifics. Paloma Lopez, one of the artists on the project, describes it as an “immersive art installation that the audience can experience.” They use live bacteria that can create intricate and colorful designs.

“They’re working with professors in the biodesign institute,” Hernandez Faham says. “They’re also creating tools and microscopes. They’ll also be offering programs free to the public to explain what they have been working on.”

Interspecifics has been a work in progress for the last five years, says artist Leslie Garcia. Garcia is the current exchange artist in residence. She says the project combines art, science and technology.

“Every artist has a little bit of science in them, and every scientist has a little bit of art in them,” Garcia says.

Interspecifics is available to the public for free at the ASU Art Museum now through May 6. For more information on CALA, visit calaalliance.org.

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In this segment:

Casandra Hernandez Faham: CALA Alliance
Paloma Lopez: Interspecifics
Leslie Garcia: Interspecifics

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