Thursday, September 28, 2017

Chicanonautica: SoCal Art Gets Sci-Fiized

A summer from Hell is over, and I'm glad to have something to announce other than dystopian absurdity and apocalyptic tragedy. La Cultura is rising. Getting sci-fiized. In Southern California.

Being a product of SoCal--my first few years on this planet were spent on Bonnie Beach Place, East Los Angeles--I'm glad to see it.

It's an art exhibit, to quote the official information offered by Tyler Stallings in “SouthernCalifornia Science Fictional Thinking in MundosAlternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas” in Boom California, it will be “on view from 16 September 2017 through 4 February 2018.The opening party for Mundos Alternos is 30 September 2017 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at UCR ARTSblock ( UCR ARTSblock is open Tuesday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday– Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and closed Mondays. Open late until 9 p.m. every first Thursday of the month. Admission is $5.”

I'm also humbled to be mentioned as a precursor to this hemispheric cultural phenomenon:

. . . perhaps participants may walk the streets of Los Angeles anew and feel moments of being part of the first Xicano science fiction novel by East L.A. born Ernest Hogan, where in Cortez on Jupiter (1990) Pablo Cortez sprays graffiti across L.A. and paints in zero gravity, all in an effort to make a masterpiece for the universe and his barrio.

And that ain't all:

To illustrate further, East L.A. born Ernest Hogan, author of the seminal Chicano science fiction novel, High Aztech (1992), wrote ten years after its publication in his blog on Latino science fiction, La Bloga, “I’ve always been more interested in science fiction as a confrontation with changing reality rather than escapism. And as a Chicano, I’m plugged into cultural influences that most science fiction writers don’t have access to.” Three years later, after participating in “A Day of Latino Science Fiction” symposium at UC Riverside, he wrote in another La Bloga post: “One difference between Anglo and Latino science fiction is that making it to the future is something that can’t be ignored. The future isn’t a given, it will have to be fought for. And if you don’t fight for it, you might not get there.”

Maybe I accomplished a few things in my decades of struggle . . .

And with Mundos Alternos, not only is the border between La Cultura and science fiction being violated and broken down, but Latinoid fine art is being sci-fiized. Non-traditional media, and formats are being used. I like the idea of the future as a walk-through, multi-media, interactive construction. The past, future, and different cultures are getting rasquached. New cultures are being born. And the idea that the future is something you should be custom-building yourself, not buying off the rack from some corporate franchise.

I see hope amid the mayhem.

Ernest Hogan has been doing crazy stuff that zigzags in and out of science fiction and beyond since way back in the twentieth century. Maybe it's done some good.


Frank S Lechuga said...

I am happy for you, sir. The tribe is recognizing your tremendous contribution to Chicano/a culture. At last, I am no longer a lone voice in the wilderness screaming out, "Behold the Father of Chicano Science Fiction!." I will cease my howling.


I thank you for the screaming and howling. The wilderness gets too quiet sometimes.