Trueque: a meaning beyond the object

A workshop refers to an arrangement whereby a group of people learn, acquire new knowledge, perform creative problem-solving, or innovate in relation to a domain-specific issue (Ørngreen & Levinsen, 2017) and inspired by the Blueprint for Counter Education a set of posters  that  serve as a portable learning environment for a new process-based model of education. This experiment is aiming to combine both concepts and remediate Trueque experience into a bookwork/gameboard/artifact 

This book is awesome .it is a facsimile printed in 2016 but the original edition was published in the late 60s by Maurice Stein and Larry Miller. I am totally astonished by these educational artifacts !! They are so visually atractive and energetic as a poster, and they were innovative proposal visual material for non lineal reading as well . In addition they are functional artifacts that deploy workshops . WOW

The main objectives of this exercise is : 

  • to remediate a concept of Trueque marketplace . There are already remediation I have done previously for the digital realm, Trueque for Salutches and Trueque de talleres (Workshop trandes, exchange of knowledge).
  • To explore the concept of  human and non human agents based on Bruno Latour (2005) ideas  and some others post humanist thinkers. One of my main concern is about the ontology of the agents . How can we value agency ? For this edition, I used as parameter “attributes” as a way to deploy trades between participants.
  • to apply the the actor network theory. So far I have been notice that there are more doubts about how to apply ANT (2005) as method, than proposals. So this exercise is a inquiry that I would like to discuss later in Reassembling the social reading group *( Open monthly meetings that I organize online)

Trueque” is a system of exchange in which participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money, The concept is originally from pre-colombian cultures.

For this edition of the trueque experience, I will create a bookwork/game board. I do considered the artifact as the facilitator of the workshop, so would prefer to named it “Geppeto

During this workshop experience we will exchange human and non-humans agents based on their attributes for PLINTH exhibition project. PLINTH is organized by Baart Gert, Together with five more colleges We will explore the exposition and exhibition possibilities for artistic research. There will be 3 iteration of the project for the next months. The first exhibition will be hosted by Luca School of arts at C-mine in Belgium. The project inquire, as well , in online and offline formats , so who knows where are we gonna remediate Trueque again.

As I am living in Mexico city, I have designed this paper prototype and proof on concept, Both project were played at different moments, several times with people in a coffee shop close to my place here ( “El cafe” ) This too place between the 20 of March and 15 of April 2020

There are some questions that have been around my mind, at the time I was designing this experience. Those were not meant to be answered perse, rather they are guide questions for participants and readers to keep mind

  • What is a human and not a human agent ?
  • Do human and non-humans share the same ontological value ?
  • What do we, as community, value when we have to trades different kind of agency ?
  • What would be the most fair way to exchange humans and non-humans agents?
  • What is our relationship with the other objects?

Participants and duration:
The experience last as along the artifacts (posters and boards) are displayed,
Everybody is welcome to participate as many times they wish.

INSTRUCTION (First iteration, paper prototype):

  1. All participants write down or draw a human or nonhuman agent in five blank card. One agent per card. This could be a biological agent, (Ex. an ant), a process ( Ex. kissing strangers in the street ) or an artifact ( Ex.a cellphone )
  2. Drop all the cards in the box of existence and shuffle the cards
  3. Take nine cards randomly and display those on the Trueque board
  4. One participant, Take one card from the box 
  5. Exchange this card with one the cards that are already displayed in the Trueque board. The exchange should be based on one attribute that both objects share. For example, you can exchange the Caribbean sea, for meant ice cream, both of them are turquoise;  or you can exchange your best lover for a piece of meat.
    Participant can also add attributes to those objects when this is not explicitly written down on the card or it doesn’t contradict the natural state of those objects.  For example: All sunflowers are yellow (this is a natural state) but not all the roses are roses. I will exchange the card label rose for my best lover named Rose. 
  6. If you add an attribute to those agents,  You should write it down in the back of the card. From now on, this value (attribute) should be considered for future exchanges. The name of my best lover card will be Rose.  She will never be Rita
  7. Write your exchange and why you did that exchange: Vinicius /  sonora lithium desert  for a cell phone battery . 
  8. Next participant inherit the previous card.

This paper prototype was played between 3 participants. We modify it around 3 times with small variants on the rules set. For example, I noticed that the game flow was improved by inheriting the last card picked by the last player. Therefore participant in turn cannot have a full control on what is the next move
Also I realize that this is a storytelling game like , so when you play it between people at the same time, it creates a sort feeling of community. People start to introduce elements from their personal life or they start to co-create fantastic stories between them.

One of the main concern was when to stop.

The board can be extended , but I think is better to keep it smaller and simple. Maybe when there are more participants would be interesting to extend the board.

Back side:
A mi mejor amigo se le murio un hijo [the son of my best friend dies] | El viento le recuerda la muerte [the wind remebers him death]| ese dia aparecio saturno[ that day Saturn appeared ] | origina el mito del ojo [and it originates the eye myth]| Da forma un globo aeroestatico [ it forms like an aerostatic balloon ]

INSTRUCTION (Second iteration, game installation):

  1. Take one agent (card) randomly from the box
  2. Exchange your agent for another in the Trueque board. The exchange should be based on one attribute that both agents share. For example, you can exchange the Caribbean sea, for meant ice cream, both of them are turquoise; or you can exchange your best lover for a piece of meat.
    Note. Once an object is set with an attribute, it is set for future exchanges. Now we know the Caribbean sea is not green, it is turquoise and your lover is not a plastic doll or a dildo.
  3. Write down on the blank side of both cards, the attributes that link both objects . Link stories.
    For example. The caribean sea is turquoise *(other card) Such a delicious ice cream , it remember me the color of the sea of my childhood in Cuba
  4. Place the new agent in the board
  5. Put the other in the box,
  6. Exchange this card with one the cards that are already displayed in the Trueque board.
  7. Comeback soon and check how your story evolve.

For this edition We include abstract symbols or drawings, such as “” no equal or “∴” therefore , a black square or the typographical characters as a single “A” .
Do people will return to see how their stories evolves ? will they feel curious about who else intervene their stories ? would they be interested to meet some other players ?

By the moment I am waiting to see how does this project evolves. I will leave the installation for a week . I hope to get soon more result of this project

Mapas Oniricos in Viral for Salutches

Oniric Maps (Mapas Oníricos) is a workshop that explores dreams through digital narratives by using UX prototype techniques and tools to do it.  The project fosters the remediation of written language within the networked and programmable media, by remembering, deconstructing,  rearranging and symbolizing dreams experiences. 

For this edition, we evoke the spirit of the Mexican mini wrestler Espectrito from the underworld. During this brief workshop, Espectrito  showed us basic syntax of Twine, a fantastic tool to deploy interactive fiction. Also,  he proposed a technique to explore our oniric experiences

Espectro has been a popular wrestler mask since the early 50’s in Mexico.  Many wrestlers have been using this mask since then, such as Espectro de ultratumba, Espectrito or Espectro Jr, Mono verde and many others.  The story of this mask is attached to the birth and development of Lucha libre in the mexican media realm and to the evil misfortunes of their users.
For this workshop, the story starts when my best friend of my childhood (MIcho) appears in Ghent with a gift on his hands, a mask.  Since then, I have been exploring this mask every time I performs this workshop. First,  it was a manner to disconnect my own persona from the public. But as the time has passed, it has become a way to reconnect with my own symbols and friends.

Honestly I was nervous about condensing this workshop. It usually take me between 12 and 8 hours to give it . Viral brief workshops as a format means to deploy an interactive workshop under the condition of time, 50 minutes. At the end this workshop experience took me 15 minutes more to facilitate it.

Sure I can optimize some part of the workshop with out loosing this “social” feeling of co creating together , spontaneous events and gestures from everybody. For example, I lost time in advising participants to modify their name.

Also, a participant, Debora ( from Re:anima), suggested to send a 5 minutes video of Twine syntax before. So the participants can focus more on the practice during the workshop. Both cases my mistake and this suggestions should be part part of the communication plan within the first email

During the workshop, Steven Malliet, ask me for a depository to save the html files. I forgot it, but still I could react in time during the performance and I create one. That was so cool!

One of my fears was that the character of espectro became bigger than the content. Fortunately it didn’t happen. Something funny, besides that participants knew espectrito would arrive, based on their faces I think they didn’t expected the entrance. This was dissolved in the discourse, it was fantastic. 24 hr before I was not sure how to make this transition. But I got a tremendous good advice from Maylo Colmenares and Mayra Cebreros. Maylo started a street theater company in the 60s , named Los nakos full of counter culture ideas. This evolve in a music theater group since those days.

He told me Theather is to play. Stay in front of the camera and just play . Practice, but play with your self. Get fun ! He was right. I found the transition to change my character just by playing 12 hours before the opening. My main concern was how can I make a transition in a way that is smooth and natural. So I decided to refused my self and create a new story. I apologized at the begging of the workshop and said espectrito would not come because I lost the mask . And I focus in trying to place the people in the right place and mood, so I asked them to close their eyes and breath deeply to feel their heart beat. Then at certain point, I stood up and came back as espectrito .

I am so happy and glad with the results of the workshop . I guess this is the best Edition in a production perspective. We did a lot a brief time (15 min) maybe .

please take a look here

I am already thinking in the next workshop, and continuing exploring this mask. I like that espectrito but I am not interested to keep it pure as the popular icon that means in my home coutry . Instead I am interesting in my relation with the mask

Secret Sharing, A Pedagogical Tool For E-Lit Practices

“Ya lo dijo Freud no me acuerdo en que lado Solo la experiencia que he experimentado.”[Freud has said it before, I don’t remember exactly where,It is just about the experience that I have experienced.]“Estación del Metro Balderas”Rockdrigo Gónzales (1984)

I am so glad to share this article about workshops. Cuéntanos un secreto project has been a personal project that taught me a lot about the potencial of the workshop: as research methodology, a social tool for community building and aesthetic experience.These previous lines, took me years to digest, an still Workshop knowledge only can happen in practice.

for this paper, I was inspired by Lori Emerson´s presentation in Mexico city, Against ‘Lab’ as Free-Floating Signifier: From Appropriation to Counter-Cooptation and Codeswitching”. During her presentation she mentioned to Sandy Stone and the Act lab (Rise your hand and say: yeah! ) and she introduced to me the concept of “Code switching, an umbrellathta that translates experimental, Trans-ish lan-guage into blackboxed, institutional language.…and more ” Beyond to the transparent sensation that those words leave to us, a rotten critic of education, The term it self is an implicit verb, rather than a noun, an invitation to act before any crictic So the main cuestionis about How to code switch you workshop?

There is much more to say about this, but this was my first deliver on the subjet I hope soon to come back with more.

The article aims to provide a practical framework for the design and organization of workshops, based on the proceedings of the Cuéntanos un secreto (Tell us a secret) project. I focus on the activation of the sociocultural exchange of experiences; I provide two samples of pedagogical material used during the workshop taken from the works of Ulises Carrión’s (Love Story) and Augusto de Campos (Incomunicable); lastly, I inquire about the workshop as a creative and collaborative tool for community building looking towards the future of society

You can download and check other fanstatic papers here

Thanks to Fabrica de Artes y Oficio Oriente, Tania Basilio ; ELO for their support and inspiration; Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Bertrand Gervais & Sophie Marcotte for making this publication possibe.

Thanks a lot Kathi Imman Beren and Rika Colpeart for their words, back in 2018

What do AFTAs mean for African women?

Some months ago, I just stoped my Adobe bullshit account. Besides all the political staments that people can find behind this . I am just tired of Adobe and Mac. Today I dont work with one or the other .

This infographic is the first design I have done with free and open source technology as linux and gimp.

We design with our brain , hands and with our heart : I code as I draw I take pictures as I write . Sure I am not the best I am just an enought version of me

Here you can find the essay What do FTAs mean for African women? A critical look into the African Continental Free Trade Area that works as a text base for this infographic.

Thanks a lot to Both ENDS, Fernando Hernandez for inviting me to this project and to Kirikou

Kirikou est petit mais cest mon amie! .merci beuacoup Voues etre une inspiration

PDFS, so another stranger and

Around 2004-6, I started a project named Bandito e-zine. Its was an interactive pdf where we were publishing emerging artists, photographers, illustrators, animators, performers and musicians.

The project was created by a beautiful Aussie girl, Hayley Mckee and the chaotic designer, Chango ( another me ). Both of them strangers. They know each other by exchanging email. The first contact happened when H bought a CD in Mexico city by Silencios Incomodos. The same album was illustrated by Chango. Monhs later she contacted Ch ….and Voila ! How cool is to trust in somebody u haven’t met in person?

Later I met some of the artist in person and some publishers by exchanging emails , such as Morta Griskeviciute in Vilnius, Heiko or Peter Skwiot from I still miss you . Some other PDFs were added later as Jinks the cat by Mike Hoge or The fly by Windjack solution, both, maybe the first full interactives PDFs I have seen. And much more , PDFS full of music from Berlin scene , unknown writers from south america or just artist that were publishing themselves in this strange format. Early 2000, I think it was common to find zines done as portable documents files format

Back in those days it exist a German website called This site was acting as link distributor of hundreds of PDFs from everywhere. It was showing a great selection of PDFs, focus in arts, architecture, literature and music. and time to time random stuff .
The cool point is that the site was creating by a small scene of musicians, artist and publishers from everywhere. Years later, I came back to the pdf website and it didn’t exist any more. So I want to share some of those PDFs that I still have in this collection.
I ll continue looking for more of these weird pdfs .

Please dont doubt to send me strangeand interesting pdfs

Meanwhile you can download the the collection here
PASSWORD. Hola_Hayley