Conversation Pieces: Documenting Political Art Collectives in Buenos Aires




Assistant Professor of English

Project Summary

My project, entitled Conversation Pieces: Documenting Political Art Collectives in Argentina, involved research and interviews with several art collectives that formed in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the surrounding region after the economic crisis that struck the country in 2002. The goal of my research was to uncover and further nuance the intersection of collective formation and activism in times of severe crises. What sort of similarities do these collectives have in common? What can these comparisons tell us about the broader sociopolitical environment from which they spring? I hoped to answer these questions and use my research to expand further upon my understanding of the political situation in Latin America and its relationship to artistic production. Beyond this, I desired to formulate an archive of interviews that I will be making accessible to the general public. Political action, especially when it involves collaboration, is something that must be learned. By allowing these interviews to exist in a public, accessible forum, I hope to further spread the knowledge and practice of the collectives I have been working with, as their work can help inform and educate others that might be in similar circumstances and looking for political guidance.

Through my engagement in this project, I have learned many skills on both technical and ideological levels. For example, my cinematography and project planning/development skills have increased drastically. I have learned how to produce better set lighting, use better angles, and edit more coherently. Additionally, I have learned more about the history of political action and US imperialism in Argentina and Latin American through my conversations with experienced artists/activists. The knowledge I have gained from them on both academic and personal levels is invaluable to me.