I am beginning to solidify my proposal and workshop series for my upcoming trip to Medellín, Colombia with ZERO1 in partnership with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The exchange will take place in May and June 2017.

Colombia has seen civil conflict for nearly 60 years. In recent years, they’ve been striving for peace within the communities that have been victimized. Current negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government are at a standstill, meanwhile President Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his efforts in the peace process.

These issues and their complexities can be intimidating and overwhelming to address, which is why I feel it is more important than ever to create community. Through art we can build community and address difficult issues that are often hard to talk about. In Colombia, I will be researching and strategizing ways to create “safe spaces” and communal environments where creativity and openness become the founding principles of a community-driven arts collective. This may take the form of a maker-space, an artist collective, or even a virtual hub to connect individual artists and their interests to a central point of engagement. The space itself, will strive to be inclusive of all people from all backgrounds with a strong emphasis on collaboration.

My personal interests combine art, technology, music and astrophysics to convey information of the natural world into ideas that can reveal the patterns and connections of lifeforms found throughout nature. Using my artistic practice as a starting point, I will address the needs of the group through a series of interrelated workshops focusing on the tools widely available to digital artists of the 21st century. As a team, we will explore the ways in which artists can help facilitate change within social and political processes. This project and workshop series aims to give voice to those who are often left out of the conversation and most dramatically affected.

I look forward to sharing more as this project develops!

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