documentary trailer

Produced by Sarah Teale & Lisa F. Jackson -

The new colonialism: a small Mexican town struggles to retain its identity, water rights and way of life as a multi billion dollar corporation disguised as a mindful living development occupies the landscape, co-opts the cultural currency, destroys the social fabric and extracts the wealth of the community.


performance, collaboration and social engagement piece

Maria Salvatierra Agundez collaborates in the role of a sales concessionaire for the 'Concesion de Arte' performance-installation work at Punta Lobos, BCS Mexico.

(Spanish translation below/traducción española por debajo)

Maria Salvatierra Agundez is a leader in the Punta Lobos Cooperative's fight to retain their patrimonial fishing rights. For her, participating in projects such as this one and speaking out, are acts of courage and survival.

Maria's family and their cooperative have retained a concession to launch their pangas from this rare coastal access point for generations - rights which they are being pressured to relinquish by the mega real estate development, Tres Santos.

Maria is equally concerned about the issue of water rights and the impact of systems such as the proposed desalination concession at Punta Lobos, ownership of fresh water rights and allocation of this scarce resource to the township of Todos Santos.

The loss of any of these rights is not a concession she is willing to make.

A week ago today I engaged in an art intervention marathon with the support of many others at Punta Lobos. 

"Concession" the title of an art installation-performance piece with public engagement, consisted of a food cart modified to look like a condo sales stand, offering slices of paradise, free cups of water from large jugs labeled "Show me the water", and bags of "dune build."

Participants could choose one, all, or none of three activities.

If a person supported large scale development of the Punta Lobos Todos Santos region as an overall positive contribution to the community they were given a slice of paradise to take home with them. This was a wedge shape section cut from a large banner with an image of the Punta Lobos  landscape, hung in front of the iconic headland of the beach.

If a person felt development would have an overall negative impact on the community they were given a bag of sand to symbolically return to the environment in a gesture of restoration or "dune building."

A neutral activity overlapped with the "Marco" project an ongoing series documenting the disappearing landscape of southwest Baja. People were invited to memorialize the experience of being present in the landscape by framing a part of the scene and having their photo taken.

The third project of the day titled the "Shield Project" also part of an ongoing series, was performed in the late afternoon. Members & friends of the Salvatierra fishing family of Punta Lobos gathered to hold mirrors in front of their bodies reflecting their livelihood, the landscape and construction of the development. (no post as yet).

María Salvatierra Agúndez es un líder en la lucha de la Cooperativa Punta Lobos para retener sus derechos de pesca patrimoniales. Para ella, participando en proyectos como este y hablando, son los actos de valor y supervivencia.
La familia de María y su cooperativa han conservado una concesión para lanzar desde este punto de acceso costera raro para las generaciones - los derechos que están siendo presionados a renunciar por el desarrollo de mega raíces reales, Tres Santos.
María está igualmente preocupado por la cuestión de los derechos de agua y el impacto de los sistemas tales como la concesión de desalinización propuesta en Punta Lobos, la propiedad de los derechos de agua dulce y la asignación de este recurso escaso en el municipio de Todos Santos.

La pérdida de cualquiera de estos derechos no es una concesión que está dispuesto a hacer

Hoy hace una semana me comprometí en un maratón de intervención artística con el apoyo de muchos otros en Punta Lobos.

"Concesión", el título de una pieza de la instalación-performance con la participación del público, consistía en un carrito de comida modificada para parecerse a un puesto de venta de condominios, ofreciendo rebanadas de paraíso, tazas de agua gratuitas de grandes jarras etiquetadas "Muéstrame el agua", y bolsas de "acumulación" de dunas.

Los participantes podían elegir una, todas o ninguna de las tres actividades.

Si una persona apoya el desarrollo a gran escala de la región de Punta Lobos Todos Santos como una contribución positiva a la comunidad en general se les dio un pedazo de paraíso para llevar a casa con ellos. Esta era una sección en forma de cuña cortada de una gran pancarta con una imagen del paisaje de Punta Lobos, colgado en frente de la punta icónica de la playa.

Si una persona sintió el desarrollo tendría un impacto negativo en la comunidad a la que se les dio una bolsa de arena para devolver simbólicamente con el medio ambiente en un gesto de restauración.

Una actividad neutral se superponía con el proyecto de "Marco" una serie en curso documentar el paisaje desaparición de Baja suroeste. Las personas fueron invitados para recordar la experiencia de estar presente en el paisaje mediante la formulación de una parte de la escena y que tienen su foto tomada.

El tercer proyecto de la jornada titulada "Proyecto Escudo" también forma parte de una serie en curso, se llevó a cabo en la tarde. Miembros y amigos de la familia de pescadores de Punta Lobos Salvatierra se reunieron para celebrar espejos en frente de sus cuerpos que reflejan sus medios de vida, el paisaje y la construcción del desarrollo. (Ningún puesto todavía).

Marco ... (frame)

The "Marco" project is an ongoing series documenting the disappearing landscape and the advance of development along the southwest coastlineof Baja California Sur, Mexico.

People are invited to memorialize the experience of occupying the landscape by framing a part of the scene and having their photo taken.

"Marco" is the Spanish word for frame. Framing a photo memorializes an experience. Frames capture, rarefy and lie. Marco sounds very much like the word "mark" in English. I encourage everyone to contribute photos to the Facebook page "Marco ..." which documents land that is marked for development.  Using a frame to engage in the moment is one way we can appreciate the wholeness of the space, our connection to the land and the impact of what we are about to lose.



'Gray Slavery' ... examing the flow of human capital (energy) through economies sustained by the working poor.

This May I begin a residency at the Santa Fe Arts Institute (SFAI) embracing the social justice theme of Immigration/Emigration.

I will spend the time doing research & development for a project titled "Gray Slavery" ... examining the flow of human energy (capital) through economies sustained by the working poor.

My plan is to engage with the Santa Fe community, talk to experts, develop a prototype for a performance piece in collaboration with other artists, and to document the lives and stories of people unable to earn a living wage and struggling to make ends meet.

Somos Agua ... y todos estamos conectados.

Octavio of the #SomosAgua colectivo prepares for a performance during the collective's visit to Todos Santos BCS to engage the community and create a mural in the town's central park.

Gracias a todo el pueblo de Todos Santos que participaron y un agradecimiento especial a Ulise Martínez (Mural Artist), Voss Romero (NPO Community oOganizer), Mónica Franco Ortiz (Coordinadora del Programa Bahía Magdalena COSTASALVAJE, A.C..) Miguel Asa (, Poet, Anveturer, Community Organizder), Anu Razo Zaragoza (Performance Artist), La Guarra Restaurante, y todo el voluntarios que hicieron posible este mural.

Muchisimo graciasa la gente de Todos Santos que participa. (english translation below but I bet you can figure it out).

Thank you to all the people of Todos Santos who participated and a special thanks to Ulise Martinez, Voss Romero, Monica Franco (Wild West Coast/ Coata Salvaje), Miguel Asa (Ululayu), Anu Razo Zaragoza, La Guarra Restaurante, and all the volunteers that made this mural possible.

Spiritual Poverty, Jurassic Jesus and the Google Gods

There's not much space between my life and my art practice.

Seemingly disparate events, words, places, ideas, people, feelings, float free of rational connection in a state of "unknowing" for long periods of time. Eventually I sift out the sense-dust from the mud of ideas in my mind and am able to describe the intent and purpose of a piece of work.  But only because it has been revealed. I'm not sure humans create anything so much as rearrange the furniture.

This past summer I began work on a project in Alaska about the earth's protective layer, the Mantle series - what happens when we peel back the earth's skin? In Mexico where I spend some of the winter I find myself observing a town struggling with issues centered around growth and water - what happens in the face of an unquenchable thirst for wealth? Simultaneously I'm researching and preparing for a project at the Santa Fe Art Institute examining the flow of human capital through economies sustained by the working poor - the Gray Slavery project - what happens with the harvesting of human energy as fuel?

I wonder what do these very compartmentalized spaces and concepts have to do with each other?

Sometimes when I need clarification I'll ask the Google Gods. "Hey what do you think about...?"

One time I asked the Google gods about Christ + DNA = ?       the results deflated my fantasies of writing a novel titled Jurassic Jesus and retiring (as if). Try it.

I have always wondered what drives greed and destruction in the pursuit of wealth? When is enough enough? Why is enough, not enough?

Who and what gets to define progress and why?

Capitalism based on rampant consumerism feels very much like a compulsion, a ravenous insatiable appetite, an addiction, an illness.

And here's the thing. I'm OK with capitalism and responsible development. I believe in the rewards of hard work and creativity. I understand the high of creating something. I understand the need to feed one's family. I understand the need to do more than just feed one's family.

But who can enjoy a meal when at one end of the table people are starving and at the other end people are gorging and vomiting?

Today I asked the Google Gods:  Development + Addiction = ?

... and the words Poverty of Spirit came up.

The Globalization of Addiction: a study in poverty of the spirit, authored by Dr. Bruce K. Alexander.

So on one end of the stick is economic poverty and the other end of the stick is spiritual poverty. This makes perfect sense-dust to me.  Could it be the stick is addiction as Dr. Alexander suggests?

Taking it to the street ... Todos Santos responds to mega-development PR-BS.

Fishermen and supporters marched from the entrance of town to the Tres Santos sales office (the HUB) protesting the MIRA/BlackCreek development and debunking the myth that the town supports the project.

Peter Buck of REM denounces the Tres Santos project during the Todos Santos Music Festival.