SIN AGUA i. expectation crowned by its own desire,
Video, color, original sound composition

SIN AGUA ii. subtle suffering
Video, color, original sound composition

SIN AGUA iii. where thieves go after death
Video, color, original sound composition

A hunt for water across
Time, ways of surviving here.
a first encounter,
albino snakes,
radioactive wildlife,
alien cave painting,
and bloodshed
a hurricane, a madness
a true fiction for & about a desert at the edge of time's end

SIN AGUA is an anti-documentary trilogy and installation of my experiences in Arizona, a journey which has its initial origins in my physical discomfort within the landscape of the southwest (as a person raised among oceans and rainforests). Beginning with questions as to how water got to the valley and how settlers and colonists corrupted these systems, the work spends time with the ancient native peoples of the region (O’odham and Sinagua), their dwellings and engineering works to weave out from there a narrative built on research, experiences both on the field as well as encounters had when visiting key sites. All of this becomes transformed when Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico bringing in a personal narrative about lost and struggling relatives and ecological disaster all weaving into a work contending in past and present with colonial erasure. This piece is narrated in my native Spanish and learned English, looping back and forth between research, digressions and (at times unreliable) personal narrative.

The work traipses through the homelands of Indigenous peoples, strange new intentional communities such as Arco Santi and Biosphere 2, ancient ruins, the desolate landscapes of downtown Phoenix imagined as ruins, air conditioning, burning sidewalks, the Saguaro’s resilience in the face of drought and nuclear testing, family trauma (in the form of phone conversations and texts), Puerto Rico’s wholesale destruction at the hands of Hurricane Maria and its aftermath, collections and archives and their guardians, tourist sites and the pilgrims and gawkers who visit them, petroglyphs and plastic bags from the Circle K and Safeway, Skype interviews with Zuni archaeologists alongside text messages and movies watched on YouTube, a dance performance at the edge of the Coconino desert, and everywhere - in fountains, leaking hoses, rivers, pools - the presence (or absence) of water. These far-ranging elements, accompanied by narration and original musical score sampling the landscape, flutes and car alarms, slowly coalesce into an abstracted narrative, a story of repetition, history forever looping onto itself.

This work was produced at Arizona State University as part of a residency at the ASU Museum.