Spring 2022


03/30 Facing Climate Change and Mass Migration Through Visual Art
Elizabeth Calvillo Dueñas

It’s an undeniable fact that our world’s climate will change. However, this is rarely talked about, in politics or our personal lives. There’s little understanding or preparation as to how and when climate change will shape the demographics of our world. In the Pacific Northwest, summer of 2020 saw not only the pandemic, but also endless days of smoke-filled air. It saw ash on cars and unnatural orange sunsets. These past few years, I’ve realized that this process is already beginning, but is going unnoticed. I’m interested in researching this topic further to gain a better understanding of how climate change will shape our daily lives in the US. How will politics change? How will our economy change? What will happen when cities cease to exist in the coming years? How will cultures be affected? And in all of this, what role is art playing in this global process? Can it do anything? Should it? In the past, I have focused heavily on migration from Latin America to the U.S., however I did not consider how migration will happen and change the U.S. itself. Within my own work, there are angles that I have not considered but remain important to understanding the process of migration and shifting cultures.

Disruptive Pleasure: Love as an Artistic Practice
Anna Cai

In immigrant families, our parents and grandparents have taught us that the virtue of hard work will provide us with health and happiness. While this has been a viable survival tactic for our loved ones before us, how can we reorient ourselves away from the capitalist urges to submit to cycles of labor and instead focus our lives around pleasure and relationship building? In my experience of being raised by Asian immigrant communities, the facade of hard work becomes both a source and a cover for mental illness, abuse, and trauma. I want to know how others in marginalized communities are experiencing or accessing this relationship with pleasure, how it surfaces, how we define pleasure, what methods our ancestors and elders have used in the past to approach pleasure in their lives, and how we can adapt them for our present and future uses. I want to know how artists (and especially queer and BIPOC artists) can be at the forefront of the movement to decolonize pleasure and champion disruptive love.

Creating Care-filled Igbo Architecture(s)
ebere agwuncha

There are key links from the Igbos of Nigeria that have informed some of the present architecture(s) that we see today. This project, Creating Care-filled Igbo Architecture(s), celebrates the intersections of architecture, design, craft, and art in the Igbo sphere (and beyond) through a dexterous practice exploring various inquiries including: food preservation, visual literature, rainwater collection, and extrusion/intrusion architecture. The word architecture(s) has been adapted to also include object design, functional structures, and visual literature.

With the support of Tanda, I am motivated to continue development for this project through research, writing, making and conceptual modeling. The methods for this period remain flexible yet intentional with an aim to also pull from secondary sources such as digital curated archives (ie.Ụ́kpụ́rụ́ Tumblr Page) that involve community discussions and historical images. My current goals are to form iterative speculative responses along with care-filled architectures and an ongoing visual catalog. I ask for peer support and discussions to expand the modes of data collection, guide written synopsis, and refine the baseline definition of architecture(s). Through this ongoing process, I wonder how an approach of “hybridity” can be a method to acknowledge varying cultures, narratives and practices for building our present futures.

Radicalizing Human Resource: Shifting white-supremacy based practices, systems, expectations and culture to a care-based models
Alden Burke

In all of my roles–Annas, Chicago Arts Census, Design for America–my work centers around a foundational question: How might behavioral and structural practices of care, collaboration, and the commons inform group dynamics in the workplace? An initial understanding of these questions lead me to believe that a proposed methodology of using care, commons, and collaboration to create healthier labor conditions and practices while vary based on the size, scale, values, and goals for each organization.

My research hopes to uncover foundational pillars of this work that might serve as anchors for these organizations. They include (in no particular order as of right now): (1) Trust-Based Networks: The individual and group relationships with a foundation of trust that affect the way we live and labor.This includes but is not limited to: – Intimates: Immediate/close friends and family who are the most influential to and influenced by your choices – Players: Active participants in your ongoing work-related and avocation projects – The Team: People who you directly work with who have stakes in the project – Supporters: Those you can go to who care about your and your life; their encouragement helps keep you motivated (2) Sustainable Labor Practice: Laws, regulations, structures, and habits that contribute to healthy and sustainable livelihoods, both at work and in our personal lives. (3)Shared Ambition and Values: Organization values and goals align with personal values, goals, and convictions: – The role of self-determination and agency in your roles as a laborer – The role of group-determination in labor settings (4) Equitable Power Structures: Shifting the focus on short-term programmatic band-aides (i.e. implicit bias training, employee affinity groups) to practices that address larger system inequalities.

A next step of this initial research and hypotheses necessitates interviews, individual and group-based, to learn more about the cultural and supportive working conditions people experience as a way to help hone the project’s research, language, and hypotheses. I imagine this working group as an amazing opportunity to connect with people from many different working and workplace experience that could greatly impact this research.

Southeast Asian Disco: The Aesthetics of Optimism Under Oppression
Francine Almeda

This topic is integral in researching foundation for an exhibition I am curating at my gallery, Jude Gallery. This exhibition will feature a collection of southeast asian record sourced from David Beltran, which will serve as the backdrop to a community space hosted in the gallery. During the run-time of the exhibition, other Filipinx organizations will be invited to occupy the space with community centered programming. This exhibition is projected to be produced in late fall of 2022. Southeast Asian music throughout the early to late 1970’s emerged from a tumultuous era – martial law gripped the Philippines, the Vietnam War was underway, the genocide of the Khmer Rouge occurred, the anti-communist purge under Suharto in Indonesia was still fresh, and Myanmar’s ongoing political and cultural isolation was at its height. And yet, throughout this time, Southeast Asia was producing a new genre of music which voiced a funky, melodic style that seemed to yearn for another place and time. The dissonance of this music and it’s contemporary political era is of deep interest and current relevance.

How can record covers act as visual artifacts that speak to the optimism of this time? What role did music play in escapism under oppression? I aim to contextualize this style of music, most prominently that of the Philippines during this period, as it is linked to the rippling effects of colonialism and American influences. In doing so, I hope to produce a text that can be used as a statement for the upcoming exhibition, and guide the exhibition into a community space that will offer guests. One blind spot is that I am aware that there is a lack of resources to research this topic directly – southeast asian disco was a fleeting genre. However, I am prepared to take into account the larger context of this movement as pivotal, valuable clues to reaching a comprehensive answer.

Mesofuturism: Reclaiming Historical Identity through Archiving and Critical Fabulation
Josué Esaú Romero Velasquez

I am interested in surveying what exists in Meso speculative scholarship (essays, research, artists,) as well as comparable speculative work around other communities. It is important for me, to differentiate between work around mesoamerica and broader latinxfuturisms, and Chicano futurism, which do have more recognizable presence. I’d like to compile the scholarship for communal access later, through zines and an archive. I will also be deriving speculative sculptural work from this, so I’d also appreciate references for artifacts, fashion, materials, techniques, cultural practices, rituals + knowledge. POC led (if possible??)

I have two sets of guiding questions, one for studio / historical research, and another for the futurist meta: How would Mesoamerican civilization have developed without colonial genocide? How would Meso values and culture influence and guide the development of technology, urbanity, and generally our relationship to the earth, resources, and each other? What can their cultural / experiential knowledge offer to our present civilization and the futures we need? And how can I channel their values / knowledge in my studio work and my daily life, grounding a decolonial presence / prescience?

In what ways are Mesofuturos distinguished from a broader Latino futurism, and other indigenous futurisms? Why is there so little in the way of meso epistomological production and art (or is it a question of access?) How is mesofuturism a useful framework for centroamerican artists, researchers, and the general community? Who can I talk to / who are the people already trying to bring this together?


Hugo Ivan Juarez co-facilitated the SP 2022 season. Hugo participated in Tanda Fall 2021 with the topic: Rasquachismo and the Underdog Mentality.

Hugo Ivan Juarez was born and raised in Dallas, TX, and is very proud of it. He identifies as Mexican-American but embraces the philosophy of no nation. He dropped out of college the first time around to pursue his dreams in streetwear fashion. He left that world after it began to compromise his ethics but discovered himself in the world of printmaking. Print has since become a gateway into education but in the last decade, he has worked as a yardero, farmer, catholic worker, and ESL teacher. Art has always been at the center of his life, but it is in Chicago where he gifted himself these past two years of uninhibited creativity. In Chicago, he is performing the social and repurposing left behind materials to make something new. In Dallas, he co-runs Familia printshop which is used as a rallying point and community workspace.