Memories of Miscegenation and Geography
2021 Installation art. Sand, newsprint, paper-wrapped stem wire and monofilament, 8’ x 8’ x 8’ Rotunda, Fine Arts Building, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY Based in my personal story, Memories of Miscegenation and Geography explores how migrating humans move and the influence these migrations have on human culture and the remaking of cultural identities. The installation’s space is inhabited by a wall map of the world and hanging geometric abstractions—shapes and patterns borne from my study of family history and the specificity of the site. The floor is the stage for a participatory performance with sand. Sand is widely associated with the passage of time and with acts of healing in cultures around the world. Visitors to the installation activate the performance by walking on the sand, deleting its typographical message while creating new paths. The message in the sand is from my favorite Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca’s ballad Romance Sonámbulo, one of his Gypsy Ballads that I could recite from memory at the age of eight. Romance Sonámbulo’s first stanza begins, “Verde que te quiero verde,” or “Green, how I want you green.” This is the only stanza I can remember now, curiously, it’s also the only stanza that remained legible at the end of the performance.