#72: Adán De La Garza
Adán De La Garza glides through a world of moving pictures and performance, making fleeting experimental work that shimmers in the moment. Whether working alone or with others, he's all about taking personal chances and just making things happen. A partner with Christina Battle in the video presentation series Nothing To See Here and a member of the Flinching Eye Collective, a multimedia performance group, De La Garza is an explorer on the newest frontiers of art. In his 100CC questionnaire, he tells us how things look out there.
See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Christina Battle
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
George W. Bush has been painting lately, and he and I probably have about the same skill level at pushing around pigment. I would talk with him about the secret societies he is in, conspiracy theories surrounding his presidency, and I'd see if he has a bunker in the underground tunnels of DIA. I have a feeling I could convince him to do some performance art at Halliburton complex, if I pressed him hard enough.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I tend to follow politics and the cultural climate more often than artists, to be honest. So I tend to follow artists who are working with similar ideas or issues that I'm interested in learning more about.
I've been watching a lot of Eric André lately. Lee Walton, William Lampson, Sebastian Haslauer, Fernando Sanchez, the Loud Objects, Eva and Franco Mattes, Anonymous...
I've been really interested in the idea of catharsis and how other artists are tackling this idea in a way that also looks like a visualization of change -- what it looks like to experience and cause change, even in the slightest of ways that feels gratifying in some capacity. Personal revolutions. Doing what you want.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
I try not to discourage anyone from making art, as long as they are truly invested in their ideas. So in lieu of that, I would like to see a lot less apathy and irony-based works.
Continue reading for more from Adán De La Garza.
What's your day job?
I have several jobs depending on the time of year. Artist just happens to be the longest-running, most time-consuming, lowest paying and most gratifying. Other than that, I am an adjunct at Metropolitan State University when classes are available and currently, I'm doing diagnostics on old laptops.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Buy a judge. Then hire a private detective to investigate who this mystery patron is so that I can be made aware of their political standings and affiliations. I don't want to find myself accepting money from a source that makes me feel as though I've compromised my morals just so I could make art. And if someone has unlimited funds, I kind of can't imagine that they didn't climb to the top of a pile of dead bodies to get it, so forgive my skepticism of that level of wealth.
But really, an abundance of money would only expedite my existing plans. I would keep moving forward with the plans Christina Battle cbattle.com/ and I have for Nothing To See Here www.nothingto-seehere.com/, to have a physical space that would have artist studios, an exhibition space and potentially a residency program. I would still go on annual tours with my art collective, The Flinching Eye, and I would keep making work and teaching. I think I would also funnel a lot of that money to DIY spots like Rhinoceropolis. Planned Parenthood would get a regular chunk of change as well.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
There really isn't one thing that I think would make dramatic changes to the arts in Colorado. It's a number of things that push us forward, and the one thing that I think would help us is developing an infrastructure that does that. That being said, I would really like to see more artist-run culture/spaces and substantial grants for local artists.
Some form of critical writing about what's happening in Denver is really needed, as well. Often advertising for shows takes the place of criticism here, and we really need criticism.
I'd like to see less local art being exhibited simply to fill space and save money for institutions. Feeling valued by the space you live in (be it monetarily speaking or otherwise) gives artists incentive to invest and contribute with regularity. I know you said one thing, but all of these things influence the art culture and longevity here dramatically.
Continue reading for more from Adán De La Garza.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
It's actually a place: Rhinoceropolis. It is a place I wish I frequented more often, but I can say with certainty that it has been where I've seen the most impactful and experimental art in Denver. The things that are allowed and encouraged to happen there are so essential to the development and maintenance of underground (and aboveground) arts scene.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
On June 13, the Flinching Eye Collective performed at the Currents International New Media Festival, and in November we will also be going on tour through Texas. Christina Battle and I are moving forward with our monthly video art screenings for Nothing To See Here and continue our search for a physical space. The next screening will be at Buntport Theater on June 22 titled "We Know You Are Watching" that correlates to the play Peggy Jo and the Desolate Nothing. We will also be working with Hoarded Stuff, curating a video art screening for their Fail Fest in November. I will have some new work in a group show titled "Super Human" at Plus Gallery, beginning July 10. Also, buying the occasional lotto ticket, enjoy some nice bourbon and hopefully a bbq here and there.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in 2014?
The local members of Flinching Eye Collective (Tobias Fike, Ryan Ruehlen, Scott Ferguson and Ben Gale-Schreck) are all deserving of some proper attention. As a collective, we've never performed in Colorado and being that all the members met here, that's kind of ridiculous. I'm always happy Jenna Maurice gets some attention. SFG has been doing solid work for ten-plus years. Matt Weedman is highly intellectual but he's more of a part-time Colorado resident.
Learn more about Adán De La Garza online.
Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.
To keep up with the Froyd's eye view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.