Wide Angle 20.3 (1998) 79-83

A.L.A.R.M.A.'s Manifest(o) Destiny

Artists in Los Angeles Reconceptualizing Media Arts
Rita González, Ramon García, C. Ondine Chavoya.


1. We appropriate the phantom spectacles of the city to practice and produce counter spectacles.

2. We create drive-by identities like the passing glance of desire and recognition.

3. We make our absence palpable.

4. We mark and work within the multiple sites of subjection to restructure relations of desire, pleasure and power.

5. History is not nostalgia, it is an act of presence and an active present.

6. We live in a moment of danger.[End Page 79}

7. We create situations for critical and creative thought and action.

8. We don't assume that identity and community are predetermined factors, but constantly negotiated through the multiple intersections and contradictions of desire, violence, and representation.

9. The artistic trappings of the last century have putrefied, as have those of postmodernism.

10. We cannibalize existing icons and media images.

11. We stage movement and possibility as opposed to the prescribed stasis of iconic mythical representation.

12. Lo Chocante is our point of origin.[End Page 80]

13. Lupe Velez is our corn goddess.

14. Mario Montez is our patron santo.

15. We declare Walter Mercado our spiritual advisor.

16. Maria Felix lives!

17. Set to the theme song of La Tocada: Veronica Castro's bad feathered hair and over-permed split ends will replace the unibrow icon.

18. Selena's bad fashions are an inspiration to us all.

19. We want to bring real tackiness back in popular culture.[End Page 81]

20. We rescue camp from the sole property and fetish of white queer sensibility.

21. We will rescue fashion victims, recognizing that only the well-dressed will survive.

22. We are neither stereotypes nor archetypes, nor prototypes nor caca-types.

23. We do not mediate, we deviate.

24. We are not American Me nor American You.

25. All our actions shall have theme music.

26. Repulsion will be convulsive or will not be.

27. The border as brokered metaphor is tired.

28. We can afford to be sarcastic, sardonic, ironic and satirical, but refuse resignation and nihilism.

29. We work outside the binary of resistance and as similation.

30. We reclaim this land as Aztlán, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Land of the Lost.

31. We refuse the normative landscape of the city, its blissful nihilism and resignation in order to reconfigure its cognitive foundation and effects.

32. We come from Modesto, Santa Ana and Whittier.

33. We perform the unimaginable: we walk in L.A.

Rita González is a videomaker and independent curator based in Los Angeles. She has shown her work in museums, festivals, and galleries. >Ramon García has a Ph.D in Literature from the University of California, San Diego. He is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northride; his creative work has appeared, among others, in The Americas Review, Poesida: An Anthology of AIDS Poetry from the United States, Latin America, and Spain, and Story. C. Ondine Chavoya teaches visual and critical studies at Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.