Events

The Havana Biennial: An Opening for U.S.-Cuba Cultural Exchange

May 9, 2015 Arts

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Lorraine Monteagut, contributing blogger

May is here, and the Projecting pARTicles team is gearing up for its journey to the 12th Havana Biennial. It’s truly a historic time in U.S.-Cuba relations. Last December, President Obama announced his intention to ease sanctions imposed against Cuba under the half-century-long embargo. And last month, he met with Raul Castro during the Summit of the Americas in Panama, which marked the first time leaders of Cuba and the U.S. have convened since 1959. There is much left to negotiate—U.S. tourism to Cuba is still prohibited, for instance— but the pathways to cultural exchange between the two nations are already opening, as evidenced by U.S. artists’ involvement in the Biennial.

On May 22, the Projecting pARTicles team will participate in a collective exhibit, “Between, Inside, Outside,” which will examine fringe experiences created by political tensions between Cuba and the U.S. and demonstrate how artistic expression can dissolve the barriers that separate us. The projects in the exhibit are participatory, trans-disciplinary, and process-oriented, representing different perspectives of reality coming together in an interactive space of human communion.

Artist Agnes Chavez is a first-generation U.S. citizen born to Cuban immigrants. The Projecting pARTicles installation, Origination Point, draws from her experience straddling two worlds. She says, “In this piece I contemplate both my origins as a Cuban American and humanity’s shared ‘subatomic’ origins to express that we are more than the physical bodies and socio-cultural identities we construct.” I’m eager to observe and assist with this project, as I too am a child of a Cuban immigrant, and I’m the first in my family to “go back.” I’ve long been aware of the tension between the old world of my ancestry and my family’s new life in the U.S., and as a result, I’ve inhabited an “in- between” space full of imaginings of my ancestors’ past and hopes for the future of the Cuban people.

So much has already changed for me since this opening: back in December, shortly after President Obama made his first announcement, Agnes called me to ask if I’d be interested in participating in the Biennial. We are fourth cousins, but we are separated by thousands of miles, and we have never met. We will meet in person for the first time—in Havana, no less!

It’s been a surreal experience, witnessing this opening between our worlds. We represent the many Cuban Americans who are eager to heal the rift of the past and participate in the new wave of U.S.-Cuba relations. This will not be an easy path, and many challenges await, but I believe art has the power to bridge great distances, and through our art, we may learn how to reestablish relationships and create beautiful new ways of communing with our fellow humans.

Stay tuned as we report from the Havana Biennial!

Lorraine Monteagut is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Follow her summer travels: roguegeographer.wordpress.com

We need your help- Havana Biennial Fundraiser

April 27, 2015 Arts
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The deadline for the Havana Biennial fundraiser is coming up- May 15th. We have raised $9700 of the $12,900 needed to make this happen. Only $3135 left to go! Please consider making a donation and share with friends that may want to help make it happen. Rewards include prints and original work from the Havana Biennial series! Heck I will even throw in some cuban cigars since they are legal to bring back to the U.S now!

This photo was taken in 2012 when I went to Cuba with my dad for the first time to visit my fathers side of the family. Now I will be going back as part of an art and education project that will bring something back to the Cuban people, and hopefully open up doors for future collaborations between New Mexico and Cuba.

Check out the sponsor options and DONATE HERE

Antimatter Photographic Emulsion Technique

March 30, 2015 Arts
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I met Dr. Michael Doser while at CERN for my research stay. Michael is studying antimatter and has some exciting projects going on that allow you to participate. Ever wondered what happens when you drop antimatter? The AEGIS experiment at CERN needs your help to analyze experimental results to figure out how antimatter is affected by gravity. Just join the dots to reconstruct particle tracks and your contribution could be included in an upcoming scientific publication. Just drop him a line at aegis@antihydrogen.com if you would like to help.

What I found fascinating was the technique they have developed to photograph antimatter particles. It’s a wonderful blend of old and new technologies. Check out this video from the documentary, Subatomic. This is the fifth episode in the series The Invisible Photograph, made in collaboration with Arts@ CERN for the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, US. The film draws parallels between concepts and technologies in particle detection and photography.

Also stay tuned for a new Kickstarter campaign to come out of CERN. The kickstarter project by Michael will be visible soon via http://projectantimatter.org but also via the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/projectantimatter.

Thank you Sponsors!

March 30, 2015 Arts, exhibits
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To all the sponsors that have supported the Havana Biennial project so far….Thank you!!! We still need to raise $5600 to reach our goal so please share.

UNM CFA Office of the Dean
ATLAS Experiment at CERN
Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Republic of Austria
STEMarts Lab
Sube, Inc.
The Paseo
Social Media Workgroup
Americorps VISTA
OMAi GmbH
Josh and Kate Comfort
Mary H. Burns
Andrea Szekeres
Barney and Ursula Berkowitz
Matt Thomas and Richard Spera
Anita McKeown

Mark Speight

Shelli Bergmann

 

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Presenting at CERN Library

March 11, 2015 Arts
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The CERN library hosts regular presentations by scientists, educators and visiting artists, etc.I have been invited to talk about the work I am doing as part of my research stay through the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. Thanks to Annette Holtkamp for inviting me and organizing this. Here is the link to the CERN library post.

I have been walking past these rows of filing cabinets that sit outside the library all week and finally found a minute to peek inside one of the drawers to see what was inside. I thought someone might scold me for doing so. I found thousands of scientific papers that date back to 1954 when CERN was formed. Papers in all languages. Lovely little manuscripts. Some only a few pages and others like manuscripts. Many with wonderful diagrams and drawings and of course, formulas. Formulas that to me are like hieroglyphics and as always, draw me in to this world. I plan to open a different drawer every time I walk by.