A long time before a tree is really a tree

(b.1984, Cancun, Mexico.)

Is an artist and technologist currently based in the Netherlands. His work is concerned with the global spread of the default, primarily in the form of architectural derivatives. He explores the erasure of culture and nature by economic forces. He received a BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, OR and a MA in Artistic Research from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague.

As an artist he has shown in San Francisco, California, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, NYC and Antwerp, BE and The Hague, NL. He has participated in Printed Matter’s LA and NYC Art Book Fairs on multiple occasions. In 2016 he participated in Out of Sight, a survey of Pacific Northwest-based artists.

He has explored curatorial and administrative projects as a founding member of Mosshouse and the Basement creative collective in San Francisco, CA, Worksound International in Portland, OR. In 2014 in conjunction with Modou Dieng he was a recipient of PICA’s Precipice Fund Award supported by the The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Calligram Foundation. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Zuckerman Museum in Atlanta, GA.


a long time before a tree is really a tree

2020, Single channel digital video, 19’03”

A poetic musing on the ephemeral quality of memory and the desire for finding our own place inside of systems that displace us.

This short film is part of a larger research around culture in “New Towns”. These are places that are created by governments for different socioeconomic reasons. However, culture is an often overlooked aspect of the creation of new towns around the world.

Trailer by Small Snap Studio (vimeo.com/smallsnap)

Music by Maciej Makalowski (makalowski.com)

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Default Alpha: Mapping the Emergence of Synthetic Culture in New Towns

In my thesisi I plot my thinking process around ideas of how a nonplace becomes a place, and the personal journey of someone from a cultural non-place such as my hometown Cancun, Mexico, a popular tourism resort created as a planned New Town by the Mexican government. I explore the temporalities of newness, the question of what makes sameness comforting, how certain cultures take root inside a blank canvas and how certain aesthetics and urban planning methods are becoming inescapable within a global network of building.