NEWS!!! The journey of DOC/UNDOC continues with the publication of a widely accessible, affordable book that not only documents the original project, but also provides a reader with their own interactive, immersive experience. City Lights Books and Moving Parts Press have collaborated to produce a trade paperback LIMITED EDITION of DOC/UNDOC, which includes reproductions of the fifteen prints from the original codex, along with the performance scripts by Guillermo Gómez-Peña embedded in each image. Also included is an Introduction by Felicia Rice that tells the story of the collaboration from its conception to completion. In addition, art historian/critic Jennifer Gonzalez’s essay explains the historical, artistic and political context in which this piece was conceived. The book features the original video and sound art on a usb drive to provide the reader with a fully interactive, immersive experience.
More information and price here.
Book launch and exhibition info here.
“The book invites us to consider an ongoing tension as we navigate a world of politics and appearance, racism and immigration, self and other.”
—Jennifer A. González
The outcome of a seven-year collaboration, DOC/UNDOC Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática features Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s performance texts and Felicia Rice’s relief prints and typography, accompanied by Jennifer González’s critical commentary. The deluxe edition is housed in a hi-tech aluminum case containing a video by Gustavo Vazquez, an altar, and a cabinet of curiosities. Opening the case triggers light and Zachary Watkins’ interactive sound art.
The two subtitles refer to different aspects of the project’s content:
Documentado/Undocumented ties to the performance scripts embedded in the printed sheets which draw on Gómez-Peña’s immigrant experiences and personal observations of the political, geographic, social and psychological boundaries between the United States and Mexico. The title of the video, it points to a painful dichotomy: “documentado” in Spanish implies being informed, having access to cultural forms and traditions, the histories and rituals that flourish in Mexico. Whereas the term “undocumented” in the United States implies a host of negative stereotypes, including a lack of citizenship, power, rights and knowledge.
Ars Shamánica Performática speaks of the very personal, transformative experience offered by the book and case, an invitation to “Choose an object, find a poetic way of using it. Reimagine yourself, tell a new story.” Gómez-Peña writes, “Its interactive dimension may be its main contribution to the field of experimental book art, or rather “performative book art.”
This edition of sixty-five signed and numbered accordion-fold books is made up fifteen original relief prints letterpress printed by Rice at Moving Parts Press. Disks of Vazquez and Gómez-Peña’s video collaboration and Watkins’ sound art accompanied by a pamphlet with essays by González and Rice are housed, along with the book, in a clamshell book box by Craig Jensen of BookLab II. Of these, a deluxe edition of fifteen books rest within unique aluminum cases, each containing a mirrored altar and a cabinet of ritual curiosities. Opening the case lights the altar and triggers Watkins’ sound compositions, while flashing buttons within bring up specific compositions.