MACO, Mexico. 2013
The title refers to weapons used by police for crowd controlling, like rubber bullets, water canons, deafening sounds, batons, electric teasers and pepper spray. The function for less than lethal weapons is to immobilize or de-orient without producing death, however they can produce serious injuries.
LESS THAN LETHAL is part of an ongoing research that explores the concepts of flow and contention. The photo-montages and collages printed over glass and silk and fibre papers, particularly talk about the relations between the control of dissent and social movement, and the planning and construction of mega-dams or water reservoirs. The purpose of Mega-dams is to control and contain the water flow of rivers, for hydroelectricity, and water supply for urban and industrial needs. By analogy, we can think about crowd control and social repression as a power instance that also interrupts a flow: the flow of community consciousness, the flow of free dissension and feeling different, the flow of autonomy and self-organization. Both are based on administration systems (Public Order and Water), and function as infrastructures, that contain, homogenize and reduce variables of flooding, consciousness and signifier levels, collective feelings, water flows and volumes, animal and vegetable species, cultural differences, fertile territories and ecosystems, nutrients, and creative diversity. The long gone natural and wild landscape that had a heart of its own, has been canalized, conducted, retained in images, exploited, fragmented, y dangerously depleted. In the same way, a population that manifests dissent is controlled, repressed, retained, disbanded and even exterminated..
The fragility of the materials I present (fiber and silk paper, and glass), formalize in a sensorial way my worries about the precariousness of our ecological, ethical and social contexts. But over all, it speaks about the delicate terrain I enter, taking the risk of easily falling into a “culturalisation” of the discourses about the ecologies of our natural resources, perpetuating and multiplying images, and using terminology that reinforce our antropo-centric vision of the earth as a provision, an object of our scientific research, our perceptions and experiences, and control. How can we shift this perspective? It is necessary that we shift our utilitarian domination, and we move away from the notion of natural resource as a supply line for the human race; towards a deeper attention to the complex ecologies and inter-relations between species, from where materials like corn, soil, oil, fish, and water emerge.