Here I briefly address the new direction this project took, related to the sanitary restrictions of 2020 and 2021, and how it led me to adapt to the new reality the world encountered; I also share some pertinent considerations about the thought process, in relationship to the project.

When I started the project back in early 2020, I was not able to start visiting Missions before most public spaces closed or severely restricted visits. This is how I found myself starting to write my internal experiences, mostly to understand myself. These writings mostly turned into what I address in the page
An Invitation. I have ommited the details about how I presented my case to the authorities of the grant as challenges started appearing. I can only imagine how many of us had to change our original plans and the flexibility that our peers had to exercise to facilitate our creative work, my deepest appreciation goes to them.

Cousins, 2018.

The challenges that initially confronted us with, as humanity, made me think: What's my grain of sand at this time? How can I contribute to building a more just and sustainable world? What can I offer my neighbor, spouse or friend? What should we, as a society, understand at this time?

The responses, even when unclear, hijacked the project with the need to turn within to find truly meaningful answers. Talking about what is important, particularly in a monologue, has become imperative.
The need to reinvent our paradigms, to intuitively discern between
what is real and what is not, is revealed as essential to understand and navigate this moment of humanity. Perception becomes reality.
The project continues to shift, no longer being just visual, and now incorporating, audio, video and text; this last one, becoming crucial to transmit what surfaces.

Equally significant is that, from the beginning, the development of the proposal has occurred in a non-linear manner. Being possible to approach it, either at the beginning, at the end, or any point in between.


Unravel, 2001


The accepted way of perceiving the world includes the idea that it is populated by objects and beings, animate and inanimate, all separated from each other, our 5 senses confirm this.
This interpretation, which translates into fragmentation, influences everything we perceive: me, you, him, the stone, the sun, and so on. Similarly, our activities as human beings are treated accordingly: painters paint, architects build, psychologists analyze... all is seen as fragmented. This approach prevails in many areas, including science, economics or politics, and the problem is that it supports and reinforces the idea that which is one thing, is not another, when in fact it is both, but our belief taints our perception. There is much to say about this, but suffice it to mention that a human being can be a man, have a body, be a father of a family, a craftsman, a mystic, and each of these aspects 'live' all combined in him, enriching what he is, synergistically; in combination and without separation. Furthermore this ‘man’, in turn, is part of something much ‘greater’.
There are several non-physical components to the human phenomenon —many schools of thought support this belief— allowing access to other forms of experience not based on perception, such as dreams, deja vu experiences, or premonitions. But, why am I talking about this?

Building this model of division in our minds, originated early in our childhood (possibly before), and is reinforced through concepts learned in school, a structure that derived its current design from the Prussian military (19th C). This system teaches us to be obedient, not to ask too many questions, to ignore emotions, and more... as a result, our creative diversity is de-individualized, prioritizing being accepted by others or belonging to the tribe, as most important. These are principles of 'group think', for the simple reason that in the wild, those individuals that were not part of the group had little chance of survival. This training, now internalized in the child, generates an internal voice, a judge, who evaluates and looks with suspicion at everything that does not conform to what is commonly accepted by others.

I have been able to discern this voice within me, ordering me how to behave in order to be accepted, and, later on, regulating (as an artist), which pieces or ideas I must accept as my own, and which are not worthy or too bold for comfort.
This process continues through life, exerting its normative effect through family members, teachers, mentors, etcetera.

 Why is this important?
Because a large part of who we are does not appear as part of what we show externally, to others, leaving out what may be difficult for us to integrate into our own image of ourselves, choosing a sanitized version of ourselves over the real version we carry within.

A second part of the process leads to judgement. We judge others, based on appearance or perception, and by extension, their qualities and abilities, or lack of them; some common beliefs come to mind: a doctor knows 'more' about the healing process, than a healer/midwife, or an artist understands politics less than someone with a diploma, an old person knows better than a young one, and so on. The reasons we concur with, are based on prejudice or beliefs, be it gender, societal or religiously based, or due to our own limitations; the consensual reality will always exercise a strong influence over us, being aware of it or not. 

This premise, should make us realize how biased our evaluations may be, calling into question our perception and beliefs, at all times. Why is judgement and this 'group mentality' so important when evaluating our human experience? One, because accepted belief and perception determine it, and two, because judgement contributes to the illusion of separation from others, safely detaching us from 'them'.

Mystical teachings have long proclaimed that everything in the universe is interconnected despite us not being able to perceive it, and our senses can only detect a small part of what is there.

This notion of Unity, as a fundamental characteristic of the universe, has changed my understanding of the world in which we live, even when it takes effort for me not to forget it.

And here is my question: ¿How can we not fall into the trap of believing that everything I think, or perceive, is correct?
What gets us in trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.

Mark Twain

Exploration conversation, 2019. 

I grew up in Mexico City, attending elementary school in a Jesuit school, and middle and high school in a non-religious school. Ideas such as equality and social justice replaced much of what I learned as a child of Catholic education.  Under the new model, believing in anything unseen becomes evidence of ignorance and everything seemed to be ruled by the scientific method.

This confusion generated a strong nihilism in my life, and with it, a state of veiled search that lasted for years. Making our own path implies walking alone for a while, most likely this was one of the reasons why I migrated from Mexico, in search of my own voice, of a personal cosmology, which is sometimes impossible to defend, or to explain, which does not fit anywhere.

For the most part, I did not know where I was going, and was guided only by my intuition, which is always a hit and miss. But I have learned to trust it, as an act of faith, and, I venture to say, the great paradox is that if we don't trust it, it will not develop, or deliver for us —but if we do, the path becomes clearer, and the road less uncertain.

Apparently religion is to spirituality what training wheels for riding a bicycle are to a bicycle. In hindsight, I can see the story of my journey, beginning during my childhood with church-handed tool chest, with all its incongruity and rigidity, continuing with the development of my model of the world, sensing now that clarity is more often available, than not. A transmigration, a reincarnation, of confusion and insecurity, into a vague sense of uncertain calm.

The Phoenix

Some time ago, I saw how a hornet cut a bee, in two. For a long time, I couldn't take my eyes off the ghoulish spectacle, it really made me think. The only thing I could do was accept what I was witnessing, for some reason, intervening did not seem right to me.
That vision accompanied me for days, a moment full of ‘violence’, which I felt inclined to disapprove, even to repress, but which, ultimately, obeyed the laws of nature. I could not figure out if the hornet was using the bee as food.

So here is my question: why do I not judge the role of the hornet, but judge a human commiting an act of violence? The first is part of nature, and the second? How is is different? We have learned to judge behavior of this type when it comes to human beings, but we do not judge as much when it comes to an event that we attribute to other forms of life, insects or animals. So how to deal with this?

Witness two, 2021.

What leads us to judge? One possible answer is the moral need to speak for, or against, something, which inevitably, directs us to the world of opposites, duality. This is why judging generates separation, because it dissociates us from others and, by extension, from ourselves. Good or bad, black or white, smooth or rough... these principles are always present in our lives, and also apply, mostly unconsciously to our own behaviors —pushing us to accept, or reject (see Polarity/Duality page for an in depth exploration of this topic).

We all have a cruel part, we all have a victim inside, but is not easy to be able to see or accept these energies within us. There are intense emotions we disguise associated with them, and unless these are resolved, expressed or, somehow, dimantled, the can not be assimilated by the person in a non-threatening form. So, we outcast them, denying their existance in us, and frequently, projecting them unto others. This means, seeing them expressed in other people, while they remain in us, unrecognized.

It is much easier to be able to see these emotions, that resonate inside us, when we see them in others.
Think about it for a moment, is it easier to see a problem, or 'undesirable' trait, in somebody else than in ourselves?

When we can recognize within, what we dislike in others, the possibility of looking at the outer world under a different light, may open up stopping time—, for an instant, and observing this with a bit more curiosity.

This premise has become fundamental within the project, but why?
I believe that as we begin to accept ourselves as we really are, being able ►
to forgive our tendencies and defects, we can accept others by recognizing ourselves in them.

By not rushing to approve or disapprove of what we see in the world, an unknown field opens up for the mind, which, trained to 'take sides', is freed from the emotional sway that leads us to act in familiar ways.

When we allow an internal 'observer' to witness events, we can relate to them in a softer way: such as the frustration of the driver next door, the selfishness of our partner, or the sadness of another person. 

I am not proposing detaching ourselves from our emotions, or the feelings of others, to the contrary.

Nevertheless, by taking some distance from our own emotions, I believe we can observe them without being totally identified with the event, discovering  'space' where there was none before.

Transmigration of Ruin was developed with the generous help of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA), an organism for the promotion of culture of the Government of Mexico.
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