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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Notes on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 20th Anniverary of the North American Free Trade Agreement

  • Author(s): Sanchez, Amy Y.
  • Advisor(s): Carson, Juli C
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License

This thesis is a document about process. Notes on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, is the English title of a bilingual anthology that set the conceptual groundwork for a day-long event that meditated upon the different aesthetics of response that writers, artists and activists in Southern California and Northern Mexico (Alta and Baja California) employ their respective practices to address positions of precarity after 20 years of free-trade implementation in North America. The anthology compiles the work of Antena, Alicia Garza, Cristina Rivera-Garza, Manuel Paul Lopez, Pepe Rojo, Ultra-red and Amy Sanchez-Arteaga. The text was activated through a series of conversations that took place April 15, 2016 at UCI, during the symposium, A Conversation in Three Parts, also curated by Amy Sanchez-Arteaga. This document constitutes a reflection on the process and methodology of curating this text and this gathering, and the social and political implications of that process upon the field of curatorial studies. These documents were experiments in inciting dialogue around aesthetics, politics and their embodiment in the LA/TJ megalopolis. The conversations and activities that took place during A Conversation in Three Parts, were means to activate Notes… for the first time and model ways that the text could be used in the future.

This thesis considers what a curatorial practice becomes in the cleft between traditional modes of exposition (as textual document or performative discussion), circulation and anecdote: How the same theoretical and aesthetic object (in this case a book) traffics between different contexts and can potentially make space for new political and aesthetic propositions in those contexts. Or, to put it another way how poetics are always already bound up with politics.

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