Info

about-work.net
- december
- green-on-white
- cold-nights
- warmth
- code-freeze


Fango de Casa (2020) 12 in x 16 in Inkjet print, wood

From my journal Diarios del Fango:

Many times I thought about abandoning the idea of dirt as a material, I felt like the work was not getting anywhere. The dirt was resisting my experiments; I became obsessed and kept trying to mold it, configuring its original state. I was looking for ways to make it more usable in a commercial setting. At which point, I began to think about the connections of how Puerto Rican identity goes through a similar process of modification throughout American assimilation.

The soil was heated and sterilized, eliminating all the healthy bacteria so that it could be adequate in a gallery setting. I drove myself insane for days thinking it was merely a dead end. I didn't believe in the material I didn't let it be.

I cover sheets of polyester drafting film with self-leveling acrylic polymer and sprinkled soil over it, letting it solidify into what looks like a large, translucent sheet of dirt. During the process of drying, the acrylic polymer creates what looks like creases. There isn't a way to control the ridges. They happen naturally as the material contracts when the dirt absorbs the water from the gel.
To me, the uncontrolled process of the material resembles current challenges in Puerto Rico with natural disasters. The recent earthquakes left many creases around the island, which caused houses and public schools to crumble and be unusable. There is a resistance to the material in which it defies my process. The dirt doesn't seem to want to cooperate with the binder, and the result is what appears like fragile work.

But in reality, they are malleable, flexible, they take different shapes and could adapt to different installation challenges. They are like a form of resilient tiles of dirt. They are leaving a trace of individuality as bits of excess soil fall from the sheets.