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Be The Media! Workshop with Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0: 

November 10, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EST

“Gestures in the ‘Border Horror’ of US Immigration Policy”

Join Ricardo Dominguez and Amy Sara Carroll of the collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 as they discuss a brief history of the collective’s previous work in relation to borders; the relationship between NAFTA, US Prevention through Deterrence philosophy, the binational War on Drugs, and the emergence of border art as genre. The workshop will be grounded with a discussion on “Technologies of Disturbance: From Tactical Media to Geo-Poetic Systems,” an overview of artivist gestures from the 1990s and what they might offer artivists and activists now. Then, together with Ricardo and Amy, Yes Man Mike Bonnano will moderate a discussion with attendees brainstorming potential artivist and activist actions.

Presented by EMPAC and iEAR Presents

Curators: Ashley Ferro-Murray, Kathy High, Branda Miller

Sponsored by iEAR Presents!, EMPAC and the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Rensselaer, made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of The Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Photographs by Robert Cooper.

An image of Ricardo Dominquez standing before the podium for the Sanctuary for Independent Media, talking to the audience with a presentation behind him.
An image of Amy Sara Carroll standing before the podium for the Sanctuary for Independent Media, with a presentation behind her as she speaks to the audience.
Several people are sitting at a table writing on pieces of paper using pencils.
A close-up featuring a piece of paper with a jagged line drawn on it, with two hands in frame continuing the line and holding the paper down.
We see Ricardo Dominguez again, closer up as he speaks.
Now farther out again, we see Ricardo Dominguez at the podium with a presentation behind him.
Yes Man Mike Bonnano stands at the podium ready to lead the discussion.
Amy Sara Carroll stands at the podum listening to an audience member's comment (black shirt, blue jacket and mask)
Ricardo Dominguez stands at the podium with the words Health Care Not Warfare on the slide behind him.
Amy Sara Carroll stands at the podum listening to an audience member's comment. (green shirt, blond hair and mask)
Amy Sara Carroll stands at the podium listening to an audience member's comment. (dark blue sweater and green hat)

Photographs by Sina Basila Hickey.

Yes Man Mike Bonnano sitting and talking to audience. He is wearing a green shirt with a grey button-up, and black pants.
Amy Sara Carroll sitting and talking to audience. She is wearing floral pants as well as a floral mask, along with a black long sleeve.
Ricardo Dominguez sitting and talking to audience. He is wearing a black hoodie and a purple blazer, with a matching hat.
Two people sit reading a collection of newspapers and clippings, seemingly making a collage.
We see several people gathered at a table, the image focused on a person with a headscarf writing in a notebook.
A woman with a headscarf talks to the three members of the presentation.

More about this event

Each decade of the twentieth century triggered draconian refinements of the “border horror” of U.S. immigration policy. Resulting borderization in the twenty-first century continues as such, now with blurred divides between the flow of goods and the blockage of human beings. Supply chain disruptions and queued shipping containers and the US invocation of Title 42 and “Stay in Mexico” policies, while never comparable, are in equal measure “products” of COVID-19.

Among others, the artists will reflect on the influences, production and distribution challenges, and discordant reception of the collective’s Transborder Immigrant Tool, a project that debuted fifteen years ago. This project consists of an app designed to provide sustenance in grueling desert conditions like those that abut the US-Mexico Border. The app consists of poetry and a navigational system that points users toward water sources provided by humanitarian aid organizations like Water Station Inc.

The talk includes a discussion of Carroll and Dominguez’s new work-in-progress theater production, “The Flight of the Palindrone.” This project instrumentalizes drone activity to provide a sonic theatrical intervention that plays on surveillance technologies in the Mexican-U.S. borderlands, the participation of the University of California, San Diego (the artists’ own institution) in the research and development of unmanned aerial vehicles, and regional eco-catastrophe—all within the context of Carroll and Dominguez’s continued commitment to translanguaging and the artivist gesture. 

***In line with our commitment to equity, love and justice, we ask that you please keep your mask on at our indoor events.

An Image containing the members of the Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0.

The Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 is made up of members included Brett Stalbaum, Amy Sara Carroll, Elle Mehrmand, Micha Cárdenas, and Ricardo Dominguez. Founded in 1997 as Electronic Disturbance Theater by Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, Stefan Wray and Carmin Karasic, this collective organized and programmed computer software demonstrating their anti-propagandist and military actions. Micronetworks were activated in direct digital actions like virtual sit-ins to prevent website access and other non-violent acts of defiance across and between digital and non-digital spaces.

A headshot of Ricardo Dominguez, a medium-skinned man wearing glasses and a stripped grey and black shirt.

Ricardo Dominguez is chair of the Department of the Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego. He is a founding member of Critical Art Ensemble and a cofounder of Electronic Disturbance Theater 1.0 (EDT), a group which developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico in 1998. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 / b.a.n.g. lab project with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award” (2008) and funded by CALIT2 and the UCSD Center for the Humanities. The Transborder Immigrant Tool was also under investigation by the US Congress, the FBI, Homeland Security, UCSD, and UCOP in 2009-2010. It was also reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a gesture that potentially “dissolved”  the U.S. border with its poetry.

A head shot of Amy Sara Carroll, a light-skinned woman with red hair and freckles smiling for the camera.

Amy Sara Carroll is Associate Professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego and is a member of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 since 2008. For the collective she co-produced the Transborder Immigrant Tool. Her books include Secession, Fannie + Freddie: The Sentimentality of Post-9/11 Pornography, and REMEX: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era. She coauthored with other members of EDT 2.0 several plays and [({   })] The Desert Survival Series/La Serie de Sobrevivencia del Desierto. Carroll was a Fellow in Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities (2017-18), a Fellow in the University of Texas at Austin’s Latino Research Initiative (2018-19), and a UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy Fellow (2021).

3361 6th Ave
Troy, 12180 United States
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