17th Art Division New Face Award
Maquila Region 4
Amor MUNOZ [Mexico]
This work is a per formative intervention in the labor landscape of marginal areas of Mexico. It is a mobile factory for the manufacture of electronic-textile artworks which travels to poor areas of Mexico offering employees the American minimum wage ($7.00 per hour compared to $0.60 in Mexico). People are hired to produce electronic circuits using conductive thread. The actual textile-schematic circuits produced are alarms, which ring with different tones when a proximity sensor is activated. Once a piece is finished, the worker embroiders on it a unique bi-directional (BiDi) code. When the BiDi is decoded, typically by a consumer with a smartphone, a web page appears which shows the production history: Name of the worker, location, date/duration of the work session, salary received, a schematic diagram and a “self-representation”s ection where the worker can add optional information about him or herself.
Reason for Award
Since we entered the current century, information has been spreading instantaneously around the world and economics has become globalized, whlile poverty and disparity are also said to be advancing more and more. We might call this work by an artist from Mexico, a nation struggling with disparity, something that fights this globalization, which could also be considered a kind of violence. Textiles are made “by hand” during the project, exposing the economic disparity in Mexico. Reading the BiDi code (like a QR code) included in the embroidery, digital technology is then used to tell the story of the person whose “hand” made the item, adeptly bringing the problems of our society today to the surface. (UEMATSU Yuka)