Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Vamos a la Mexico

In a sudden twist of fates, I have come to the undiscovered country of Mexico, to teach a workshop at the Facultad Artes, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (Toluca, Mexico) along with a few other Singaporean/South-east Asian based artists/educators. Much thanks must go to Luis and Anne-Marie for putting the amazing trip together, and I've also been learning lots from them and Andreas who taught a workshop about Pure Data, which I am very excited about now.

Mexico is brilliant, it resembles a mix between the clamor and chaos of Indonesia (visible signs of poverty and high income inequality) and a bizarrely European style (colonial buildings and Spanish speaking population) and European weather. The weather is hot in the sun during the mornings (22 degrees and more) but as the sun ebbs away the weather can fall suddenly (to 10 degrees or lower). You can put your milk carton outside your window. And leave a pack of crisps on the table and find it still amazingly crunchy on the day after.

We are currently in Toluca, the capital of Mexico State, and the UAEM (our host) is a public university, meaning that students aren't paying private fees for all the facilities in this art school. And a fully-fledged art school it is! Smelling of paint, with a great computer lab for both mac and pc (the only problem is the spotty internet), a large traditional printmaking studio, outdoor sculpture areas, sound recording studio, film studio with professional lights, rigging, rails, etc. Impressive for a public school to have amassed so much!

One of the important criteron for whether I would seriously learn a foreign language would be whether the language itself already has a large body of literature, and in that respect Spanish is a language I would love to learn. A visit to the bibloteca and the bookstores here in Centro Toluca show no paucity of literature and poems to be entertained by. I have made some puerile attempts to learn spanish along the way, enough to hire a taxi to places and back or ask for food, and found some poetry books by Toluca's poets. Maybe eventually I will be able to read them!

Here is what it looks like to me:

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See all images in my Flickr Set: Mexico

Soon I will post more on: Following the trail of the El Senor de la Bestias, our trip to a surreal Pulqueria in a small village called San Fellipe Tlamimilolpan, Mayan Calendars and the Aztec Barcode, and Pedro Infante....

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