XMAP: In Plain Sight, The Los Angeles Orbit Panel

Moderated by rafa esparza and Cassils
Introduced by MOCA

In Plain Sight (IPS) lead artists rafa esparza and Cassils present an overview of IPS followed by a panel discussion with Bamby Salcedo, Beatriz Cortez, Yosimar Reyes, and Ken Gonzalez-Day. Artists featured in this panel generated the phrases that formed the ring, or “shared orbit path,” around downtown Los Angeles over the July 4 weekend. Artists will show IPS images and discuss their individual practices as artists and organizers in relation to their involvement in IPS. Panel includes discussion of Los Angeles as the second largest city of immigrants in the United States and explores how the multicultural conditions of the city have generated experimental collaborative practices by artists and activists alike.

About In Plain Sight:  
In Plain Sight is a coalition of 80 artists united to create an artwork dedicated to the abolition of immigrant detention and the United States culture of incarceration. A highly orchestrated mediagenic spectacle and poetic action, this project is conceived in five parts: a poetic elegy enacted on a national scale, an interactive website, an anthology docuseries, accessible actions for the public to take to join the movement against immigrant detention, and cultural partnerships producing arts-related education and engagement.

Over Independence Day weekend 2020, Labor Day, and Indigenous People’s Day, IPS will launch the nation’s skytyping fleets to spell out artist-generated messages in water vapor, legible for miles. These messages will be typed in the sky over detention facilities, immigration courts, borders, and other sites of historic relevance. As the planes soar, they will make visible in the sky what is too often unseen and unspoken on the ground: the appalling, profoundly immoral, imprisonment of immigrants. IPS will help break through this wall of secrecy, exposing to public scrutiny the sites of detention centers, paid for with your dollars and operated in your name.

Follow @inplainsightmap for additional information and updates on activations.

rafa esparza (@elrafaesparza) is an artist who lives in Los Angeles. His work often takes the form of physically exhaustive performances and installations constructed out of adobe bricks. esparza also frequently works with collaborators, including members of his family. Esparza has exhibited in several public parks, nightclubs, sidewalks, galleries, and museums in Los Angeles and internationally.

Cassils (@cassilsartist) is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Cassils’s art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle and survival. For Cassils, performance is a form of social sculpture: Drawing from the idea that bodies are formed in relation to forces of power and social expectations, Cassils work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment. As trans person navigating the US immigration system, they have glimpsed firsthand the unjust, meritless, financially motivated, bigoted and dehumanizing nature of the US immigration system.

Bamby Salcedo (@labamby / @translatinacoalition) has produced and developed several ground-breaking programs and advocacy organizations such as The Translatin@ Coalition and Angels of Change. Her work as a collaborator and a connector through a variety of organizations reflects her skills in crossing various borders and boundaries and working in the intersection of multiple communities as well as the intersections of multiple issues.

Beatriz Cortez (@beatrizcortezflores) (b. 1970, San Salvador, El Salvador; lives and works in Los Angeles) has lived in the United States since 1989. She received an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts in 2015, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University in 1999. Cortez’s work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities, and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures.

Yosimar Reyes (@yosirey) is a nationally-acclaimed Poet and Public Speaker. Born in Guerrero, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.” His first collection of poetry, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly… was self-published after a collaboration with the legendary Carlos Santana.

Ken Gonzales-Day (@kengonzalesday) is Los Angeles based artist whose interdisciplinary practice considers the historical construction of race and the limits of representational systems ranging from lynching photographs to museum displays. His widely exhibited Erased Lynching series (2006), along with the publication of Lynching in the West: 1850-1935 (2006), transformed the understanding of racialized violence in the United States and raised awareness of the lynching of Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, along with African-Americans, in California’s early history.

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