This is an exploration on the indigenous mesoamerican craft of obsidian mirror polishing with contemporary western telescope traditions in an attempt at creating an obsidian Newtonian telescope device for solar astronomy. All obsidian mirrors are polished by hand using lapidary techniques.
Various cut and polished glass pieces produced in the glass coldworking studio.
Cara de Nopal is an installation that encompasses a decolonial sticker book along with a glass cactus and mirror sculpture. The piece revolves around the phrase "cara de nopal", an often derogatory term meaning "prickly pear cactus faced" used in Mexico to describe someone as stupid and/or indigenous. These stickers are a form of self reflection and empowerment as a way to reclaim this phrase as a positive view on indigeneity.
Digital Weaving is a video game installation which projects a weaving simulation onto sandcast and sandblasted glass panels.
The colors and textures used are inspired by indigenous American textiles, and the user may click the mouse to rotate through different colors of weft while moving the mouse to weave and mix threads.
The original video game can be played here.
Shelter is based on the warmth of color and light. Color studies are taken from hot glass as it cools down and used to project onto the internal structure as a grid of hexagons that shift from warm yellow to dull red to cool grey. The hexagon grid is then mapped through projection onto the dome using a spherical glass mirror. One can enter the shelter or view silhouettes of those housed from the outside.
Ash Mountains :
Architecture Final Research Performance in collaboration with Noah Shipley and Marcus Lee
From before the time of the Aztecs to the present day, the inhabitants of Mexico City have had a symbiotic, ever evolving relationship with the processes that shape the earth. From silt deposited by Aztec chinampas, to discarded plastic bottles, each site of human habitation holds evidence of past lives. Located upon the now dry bed of Lake Texcoco, the Bordo Poniente landfill was created to hold the rubble of a 8.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Mexico City in 1985. Bordo Poniente is one of the largest landfills in the world, and from its opening in 1985 until its closure in 2011, it served as the repository for most of the waste of Mexico City and its adjacent municipalities. At only 3.75 square miles large, the site was home to about 1500 pepenadores, or waste-pickers, who relied heavily upon the landfill for jobs and housing. Every day they picked through the contents of the site for recyclable materials, sending the materials back into circulation, but when the landfill closed due to environmental and political reasons, many pepenadores lost their jobs and were forced to relocate.
How should layered cultural, geological, and anthropological contexts be reconciled with the built environment? How can we as designers bring neglected histories like those of the pepenadores back to the surface? Through our research on Bordo Poniente, we hope to illustrate one method for utilizing anthropogenic geology as a foundation for infrastructure. We propose to celebrate the complex cultural and geological histories of Mexico City and the people who live there by moving Lord Norman Foster’s airport, located adjacent to the Border Poniente landfill, to a site which contains these environmental contexts. Within the ground are the remnants of all the different histories of the city, the physical evidence of actions and their consequences, of human habitation and the human deposition of materials. We propose to relocate the airport to Bordo Poniente to create a far more meaningful historical connection, and a way of recognizing the importance of people such as the Aztec and the pepenadores, whose histories are often overlooked and marginalized by those in charge of creating infrastructures.
A glass telescope and a makeshift planetarium installation. Stars as lights cause gravitational lensing.
A study on light, memory, and the glass skin.
These are experiments and studies focus on the memory of glass. Glass records processes both from its outside surface as well as its interior. Whether it is being lit manually, molten hot, or projected onto, light can reveal the manifestations of memory within the glass skin.
Envisioning an alternate history for the indigenous city of Tenochtitlan while also playing with the ignorant misconception that supernatural forces provided a means for the “primitive” native peoples of the New World to create the large structures and cities that laid the foundations for this continent. My family is from Mexico City, and as a child I remember seeing ruins uncovered next to concrete structures side by side. Every time I go back, there is a sentiment of memory that lingers in my blood as I walk through the remnant infrastructure of Tenochtitlan much like the embedded indigenous culture that sits vague but familiar within my Mexican identity. I may have lost my true mother tongue through colonizing forces that perpetrated throughout generations in Mexico, but my own mother continues the indigenous craft of cooking with maize flour and sauce making with a molcajete. As I move forward in my studies as a physicist and astronomer, I intend to acknowledge indigenous knowledge as comparable to the western scientific paradigm for reasons like preventing false notions that poor primitive savages needed some fantastic outside force to aid them in their technology and survival. In this painting, I want to argue that my culture and indigenous heritage is not mutually exclusive from science and innovation but that it is science and innovation.
This is a site-specific installation in the corridor to the men's bathroom. I attempted to create a light and atmospheric intervention which fills the room with a warm comforting light utilizing pink balloons that are caught in mid-air.
Projections created with colored glass bulbs.