Friday, March 31, 2006

tonight's opening! Deb Sokolow

Deb Sokolow opening @ polvo

Gisela Insuaste and Paola Cabal

juan compean
and monica herrera

Scott Speh and Britton Bertran of Gallery 40000

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My Pilsen Telenovela

I am in a show that opens in a couple of weeks and I will be doing an installation of digital prints. Today i started shooting with a little help from my friends. Above is one of the frames and below is my statement for the pieces. Once completed I hope will look awesome. And here is info about the show:

Pilsen Telenovela
digital print
Miguel Cortez, 2006

This print consist of overly-dramatic fake events/actions that are suppossed to mock scenes from an imaginary spanish "novela" taking place in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. Using a high resolution digital camera, I posed people in carefully planned and scripted situations. An installation of these prints were shown at Glass Curtain Gallery in Chicago.

Telenovelas have a history that goes back to the 1950s in Latin America. They are usually targeted to the working class(hence the popularity) and some of the stereotypical plots are often based on stories dealing with class issues such as about a poor girl who falls in love with a rich man and whose family does not understand her. While some others deal with teen isues and the problems of youth and growing up. Most of the actors are usually white latinos playing working class people but for this project the people who I shot visually look mestizo and resemble more what the "telenovela's" audience is.

Download a low res PDF here

Friday, March 24, 2006

Bush Sucks

Bush Shuns Patriot Act Requirement
By Charlie Savage
The Boston Globe

Friday 24 March 2006

Washington - When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.

The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it "a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a "signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would "impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Bush wrote: "The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "

The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law.

After The New York Times disclosed in December that Bush had authorized the military to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans' international phone calls and e-mails without obtaining warrants, as required by law, Bush said his wartime powers gave him the right to ignore the warrant law.

And when Congress passed a law forbidding the torture of any detainee in US custody, Bush signed the bill but issued a signing statement declaring that he could bypass the law if he believed using harsh interrogation techniques was necessary to protect national security.

Past presidents occasionally used such signing statements to describe their interpretations of laws, but Bush has expanded the practice. He has also been more assertive in claiming the authority to override provisions he thinks intrude on his power, legal scholars said.

Bush's expansive claims of the power to bypass laws have provoked increased grumbling in Congress. Members of both parties have pointed out that the Constitution gives the legislative branch the power to write the laws and the executive branch the duty to "faithfully execute" them.

Several senators have proposed bills to bring the warrantless surveillance program under the law. One Democrat, Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, has gone so far as to propose censuring Bush, saying he has broken the wiretapping law.

Bush's signing statement on the USA Patriot Act nearly went unnoticed.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, inserted a statement into the record of the Senate Judiciary Committee objecting to Bush's interpretation of the Patriot Act, but neither the signing statement nor Leahy's objection received coverage from in the mainstream news media, Leahy's office said.

Yesterday, Leahy said Bush's assertion that he could ignore the new provisions of the Patriot Act - provisions that were the subject of intense negotiations in Congress - represented "nothing short of a radical effort to manipulate the constitutional separation of powers and evade accountability and responsibility for following the law."

"The president's signing statements are not the law, and Congress should not allow them to be the last word," Leahy said in a prepared statement. "The president's constitutional duty is to faithfully execute the laws as written by the Congress, not cherry-pick the laws he decides he wants to follow. It is our duty to ensure, by means of congressional oversight, that he does so."

The White House dismissed Leahy's concerns, saying Bush's signing statement was simply "very standard language" that is "used consistently with provisions like these where legislation is requiring reports from the executive branch or where disclosure of information is going to be required."

"The signing statement makes clear that the president will faithfully execute the law in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "The president has welcomed at least seven Inspector General reports on the Patriot Act since it was first passed, and there has not been one verified abuse of civil liberties using the Patriot Act."

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said the statement may simply be "bluster" and does not necessarily mean that the administration will conceal information about its use of the Patriot Act.

But, he said, the statement illustrates the administration's "mind-bogglingly expansive conception" of executive power, and its low regard for legislative power.

"On the one hand, they deny that Congress even has the authority to pass laws on these subjects like torture and eavesdropping, and in addition to that, they say that Congress is not even entitled to get information about anything to do with the war on terrorism," Golove said.

New Media Art in Pilsen!!

(A) MEXICAN r4WB1t5 macro.Fest!
THURSDAY 2006.04.06 - SUNDAY 2006.04.09

12 artists and curators from Mexico City, Mexico (physically) travel to Chicago to participate in the upcoming (A) r4wb1t5 macro.Fest of digital arts, New Media projects and realtime audio video performances!

Chicago’s fourth instance of the decentralized and distributed (A) r4wb1t5 macro.Fest consists of a string of New Media art events occurring each day from April 5th through April 9th. Various alternative art spaces in Chicago will function as hosts for these individually curated and connected r4wb1t5 micro.Fests. Each micro.Fest is organized by individual curators based in Mexico City and facilitated in Chicago by Amanda Gutierrez, jon.satrom and jonCates. This r4wb1t5 macro.Fest is a macro-expansion/explosion of previous smaller r4wb1t5 micro.Fest activities.

This r4wb1t5 macro.Fest initiates a cultural exchange wherein Chicago-based curators, organizers and artists will soon travel to Mexico City to develop a sister r4wb1t5 festival. Artists, curators, organizers, facilitators and participants gather for these free and open events comprised of live audio and video, media art screenings, installations, and network based art in the discursive context of r4WB1t5. Join the conversational hyperthreads of these dynamic exchanges between Chicago and Mexico City!


THURSDAY 2006.04.06
7 PM
2255 S. Throop CHICAGO IL .US 60608

Arcangel Constantinni (Curator, Organizer and live Net Art programming)
Infomera VS Chicago (web-based New Media)
dønut VS PIRANACON.EXE (realtime audio performance)
(A) MEXICAN r4wb1t5 macro.Fest begins in Chicago as Arcangel Constantinni curates a live Net Art wrestling match. Extreme programming, Web Art coding and Mexican wrestling collide in Pilsen's CHI-TOWN ARENA when Arcangel Constantinni brings his Infomera VS Chicago project to the stage. During the match the Mexico City based dønut project will go head to head against PIRANACON.EXE in an experimental electronic music battle.


FRIDAY 2006.04.07
8 PM
1087 North Hermitage #1F CHICAGO IL .US 60622

Eusebio Bañuelos (Curator, Organizer and realtime audio video performance)
Juan Jose Rivas (realtime audio video performer)
Paola de Anda (video installation)
Carolina Esparragoza (interactive installation)
MU Collective (video installation)
techmex - (web-based New Media)
fllanos - (web-based New Media)
Eusebio Bañuelos curates a night of Video Art, realtime audio video performances and installations from Mexico City. Video screenings, performances, installations and web-based New Media by Eusebio Bañuelos, Juan Jose Rivas, Paola de Anda, Carolina Esparragoza, MU Collective, techmex and fllanos present a view into the diverse fields of Mexican media art.


SATURDAY 2006.04.08
8 PM
1550 N. Milwaukee Ave 3rd Fl CHICAGO IL .US 60622

Rogelio Sosa (Sound art curator)
MU Collective: Eduardo Melendez and Ernesto Romero (realtime audio video performance)
Mario de Vega (realtime audio video performance)
Rogelio Sosa curates a program of realtime audio video performance and Sound Art featuring MU Collective (, Eduardo Meléndez, Ernesto Romero) and Mario de Vega. This program features multi-channel experimental electronic music and audio work from these individual and collaborative projects.


SUNDAY 2006.04.09
3 PM
1458 W. 18th ST. 1R CHICAGO IL .US 60608

Artists' talk and panel discussion (in Spanish)
Changorama: David Somellera and Abelardo Martín (realtime audio video performance)
MU Collective: Eduardo Melendez and Ernesto Romero (FLOR installation)
r4WB1t5 macro.Fest participants will discuss New Media art in Mexico City during a panel discussion to be held in Spanish. After the artists' talk and panel discussion. MU Collective (Eduardo Melendez and Ernesto Romero) share an interactive installation. Changorama (David Somellera and Abelardo Martín) performs realtime audio video. As a expansive close to the r4WB1t5 marco.Fest, this evening will spread outside of Polvo into the streets of Pilsen distributing our shared efforts and dispersing raw bits as seeds for future exchanges.

This r4WB1t5 macro.Fest will include experimental Radio Art projects, reports broadcast from the festival and interviews with the participants. These radio programs will be available online through the festival website as well as on air from stations such as Free Radio SAIC and Radio Arte. Listen on WEDNESDAY 2006.04.05 through MONDAY 2006.04.10 to the following programs:

THURSDAY 2006.04.06 - SUNDAY 2006.04.09

David Somellera (Curator and Organizer)
Triscerable (Radio Art)
Zaratustra Gabriel Vázquez Ruíz (Radio Art)


WEDNESDAY 2006.04.05 - FRIDAY 2006.04.07

Free Radio SAIC (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

MONDAY 2006.04.10

Radio Arte

Links to more information on individual artists and art spaces follows below...


in alphabetical order
Eusebio Bañuelos -
Arcángel Constantini -
David Somellera
Rogelio Sosa -
Mario de Vega -


in order of appearance
Arcangel Constantinni -
Infomera VS Chicago -
Eusebio Bañuelos -
Juan Jose Rivas -
Paola de Anda -
MU Collective (Eduardo Melendez and Ernesto Romero)
Rogelio Sosa -
techmex -
fllanos -
Eduardo Meléndez -
Ernesto Romero
Mario de Vega -
Carolina Esparragoza -
Changorama: David Somellera and Abelardo Martín
Triscerable -
Zaratustra Gabriel Vázquez Ruíz -

in chronological order

Secretaria de Relacione Exteriores / SRE -
Fondo Nacional para La Cultura y las Artes / FONCA -
Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y Las Artes/ CONACULTA -
Centro Multimedia / CMM -
Consulado de México en Chicago -
Mexicana -
Radio Ibero -
Radio Arte -

Amanda Gutierrez, jon.satrom and jonCates -

closing reception for phaedra and nina

since we love artists at polvo, every so often we do a special closing reception. Below are some pics from tonight's event.

Nina F. Bru and Michael Piazza

Nina F. Bru

a blurry pic of Monica Herrera

Saturday, March 11, 2006

a blast from the past: some stuff from 2003....

Media Silent on Clark's 9/11 Comments
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

Friday 20 June 2003

Gen. says White House pushed Saddam link without evidence

Sunday morning talk shows like ABC's This Week or Fox News Sunday often make news for days afterward. Since prominent government officials dominate the guest lists of the programs, it is not unusual for the Monday editions of major newspapers to report on interviews done by the Sunday chat shows.

But the June 15 edition of NBC's Meet the Press was unusual for the buzz that it didn't generate. Former General Wesley Clark told anchor Tim Russert that Bush administration officials had engaged in a campaign to implicate Saddam Hussein in the September 11 attacks-- starting that very day. Clark said that he'd been called on September 11 and urged to link Baghdad to the terror attacks, but declined to do so because of a lack of evidence.

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."

RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"

CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."

Clark's assertion corroborates a little-noted CBS Evening News story that aired on September 4, 2002. As correspondent David Martin reported: "Barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, the secretary of defense was telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks." According to CBS, a Pentagon aide's notes from that day quote Rumsfeld asking for the "best info fast" to "judge whether good enough to hit SH at the same time, not only UBL." (The initials SH and UBL stand for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.) The notes then quote Rumsfeld as demanding, ominously, that the administration's response "go massive...sweep it all up, things related and not."

Despite its implications, Martin's report was greeted largely with silence when it aired.

Hot Diggity Dang!!!

May these christians live with their conscience as they renew the Patriot Act.

Friday, March 10, 2006

immigration rights march in chicago

I went to this immigrant rights march/rally today and it was an awesome experience.

I started here....

and ended up here....the Calder sculpture never looked so good.

from the chicago tribune:

Ethnic groups rally for immigrant rights

A mass of flag-waving humanity jammed downtown Chicago this afternoon as tens of thousands of protesters rallied at Federal Plaza to demand more humane immigration laws.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Mayor Richard Daley and other political figures crowded onto the stage to speak to the crowd.

Noting Chicago was built by new arrivals to this country who simply wanted a share of the American Dream, Daley said, "We are not going to make criminals out of (immigrants). That is not what America has ever stood for."

Rally organizers said they oppose H.R. 4437, a bill approved in the U.S. House of Representatives that would drastically strengthen immigration enforcement, including the construction of a fence along the Mexican border.

Instead, they back a competing bill that would provide legal status for most undocumented immigrants and make it easier for legal immigrants to bring in relatives. That legislation, sponsored by U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), also would expand temporary work visas.

Much of the turnout and energy for today's rally was coming from the local Mexican-American community, the area's largest immigrant group. But the Mexican groups were bolstered by immigrants from Ireland, Poland, China and Ecuador.

The wide-ranging organizing committee also included the Nation of Islam, Service Employees International Union Local 73, evangelical churches and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.

Tapping into immigrant growth in the suburbs, organizers rented about 200 buses for immigrants boarding near taquerias and churches in such far-flung towns as Waukegan and Aurora.

A subplot of the day's events, organizers said, was the Chicago economy's reliance on immigrant labor. Organizers encouraged participants to leave work, with some calling for a "general strike" today to underscore the workload shouldered by immigrants, including those without legal status.

Around the area, business owners weighed whether to give the march their blessing or to resist the employee exodus.

Several Mexican box boys in a Montclare grocery store said they saw the march as a chance to affirm their dignity. But their boss Gus Labrakis, a Greek immigrant, was annoyed about how their participation might impact his business.

"I don't think this is a good idea," Labrakis said. "They're inviting even more hate against them. The real problem is at the border. If they keep coming by the millions, where will this lead?"

Antonio Reyes, a box boy at Labrakis' market who arrived from Mexico City in 2000, said the march is an important way for non-immigrants to understand how the proposed laws will affect hard working families.

"We didn't come to this country to rob, but to work and support our families," said Reyes, a father of two U.S.-born children.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a Hispanic, drew cheers as he recognized Irish, Polish, Chinese and African-American rally participants.

"I have never been prouder to march, to show my commitment to a cause, than I have been today," Gutierrez said. "We have brought together the true fabric of what Chicago is, of what our country is."

"Raise those American flags!" shouted Gutierrez. "This is our country, and this is where we will stay."

Even as the rally began, about 2 p.m., people continued streaming into the Loop, the line of march extending as far west as the United Center.

Streets in the immediate vicinity of Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn St., were closed for the rally as a crowd estimated by Chicago police as 75,000 to 100,000 in size spilled off the sidewalks.

And as the afternoon rush hour approached, police issued an alert asking the public to avoid not just the federal building complex, but the area bounded by Madison Street on the north, Roosevelt Road on the south, Ashland Avenue on the west and all points "all the way east."

Police said traffic had returned to near-normal levels by early evening.

Earlier, businesses, restaurants and schools across the region emptied out, and busloads of immigrants from Mexico, Poland and Ireland converged on the protest's assembly point in Union Park, at Ashland Avenue and Washington Boulevard on the city's West Side.

At the park, the participants—representatives of many ethnic groups in addition to the Hispanic community, the event's main organizer—immediately broke into mini-rallies, some speakers grabbing megaphones and rallying participants from baseball bleachers.

The protesters stepped off shortly after noon for a two-mile march to Federal Plaza. They moved amid a sea of flags, including those for Guatemala, Ecuador, Ireland and especially Mexico. But U.S. flags were the most numerous.

Marchers such as Jose Soberanis tried to make the case that the cause of illegal immigrants fits with basic American values. Soberanis, 21, led a group waving U.S. flags and a drawing of Martin Luther King that he created with his 11-year-old sister, Cecilia.

"As the saying goes, 'I have a dream.' Well, we have dreams, too," Soberanis said. "African-Americans were looking for social acceptance. That is what we want, too."

Whole shifts of workers left their jobs to underscore the importance of immigrant workers. One server in a Downers Grove Italian restaurant came in his tie and apron, draped with a U.S. flag.

A Chicago factory worker, Amada Ochoa, 44, said she felt a swell of pride when about 150 employees walked out the doors around noon at their West Side plating company.

"We felt a feeling of unity," she said. "It shows our work is important."

Alex Garcia and about 10 co-workers from a Joliet commercial sign company rode a Metra train to Chicago's Union Station and then walked about 12 blocks to Union Park, then re-traced their steps as they headed back to the Loop.

Garcia, whose company installs signs for McDonald's, Burger King and other fast-food restaurants in the Chicago area, said, "Most people don't realize how much work we do, but it's part of their daily lives. We are putting up all the buildings and cooking all the food. Today, they'll understand."

Friday, March 03, 2006

phaedra and nina art opening

Artist Phaedra Robinson(Detroit, Michigan) and Nina F. Bru(Barcelona, Spain) are part of the march art exhibit @ polvo. Below are some pics from tonight's opening. See more info here.

Phaedra is in the blue blouse.

Hugo Michel Hernandez and wife.

Lenka Dolanova

Nina F. Bru on the right.

Scott Kildall and Lenka Dolanova