Sunday, July 31, 2011


In 2004, 5 of us went camping in the middle of the desert in San Luis Potosi, far away from any town or road. We arranged to be dropped one really knew where we were going...through dirt road and putting down fences, which seemed to be the boundaries between no man's land, then we walked a few kilometers into the direction where we were told we would find an oasis. We would be picked up, at a second fence we were to find, in 4 days. Needless to say, it was all unplanned, somehow we ended up camping near the small oasis, with 2 peyotes per head, very little water and food... in fact by the last day we had ran out of both. Silence and stillness were of such intensity that we could hear each other talk from miles apart, while each one wondered through giant cactus and rattle snakes. 
The only documentation of this experience, besides our memory and the effect it had within ourselves, are a couple of blurry thumbnails and a Paul Shepard quote I had found and kept next to them.   

"The desert is the environment of revelation, genetically and physiologically alien, sensorily austere, esthetically abstract, historically inimical. ... Its forms are bold and suggestive. The mind is beset by light and space, the kinesthetic novelty of the aridity, high temperature, and wind. The desert sky is encircling, majestic, terrible. In other habitats, the rim of sky above the horizontal is broken or obscured; here, together with the overhead portion, it is infinitely vaster than that of rolling countryside and forest lands. ... In an unobstructed sky the clouds seem more massive, sometimes grandly reflecting the earth’s curvature on their concave undersides. The angularity of desert landforms imparts a monumental architecture to the clouds as well as to the land. ...

To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality."
[Paul Shepard, ‘Man in the Landscape: A Historic View of the Esthetics of Nature’]

Friday, July 29, 2011

Time Capsule

In the last couple of years I have been working on memory, as a sort of sideline, an undertone to my constant questioning of the negotiation between humans and nature.
I believe the questioning of memory crawled up from inside me, as a way of trying to assimilate constant change; multiple  landscapes, contexts, and experiences one after the other.
Memory often comes with nostalgia, even though until now I had treated it very coldly, very logical, as if decoding a structure. But memory has its own ways of working through us, and slowly as it has happened in multiple occasions, for example, I found myself with the sentiments of warmth and complicity I shared with my grandfather. 
My grandfather, Luis Torregrosa, died 6 years ago, he was a very prominent doctor, his head could not be contained within his studio especially after he got senile dementia. His studio was his sanctuary, always organized to the last bit until everything started loosening up...until the final loosen up, the grasp of life. While he lived, his studio was out of boundaries, a rule that seems to have outlived him...He left a widow, 7 children and 16 grandchildren, to this day his things were still untouched, the studio door always closed. 

In dealing with the vestiges of my own memory I wanted to go through the pictures of my grandfather, knowing that there were plenty, but completely unaware of what was to come. In the search for the pictures kept in the studio... I began to wonder what layed behind all the drawers, cabinets, boxes, what all the piles of paper, books, objetcs..etc. were about, and asked permission to dig into it; to organize the tangible remains of my grandfather as well as now being in charge of finding all the very important papers lost in that maze.
It is a weird thing, all the little things we keep... the collection of objects left behind, it is like being on a hunt for hidden treasures, as well as putting together a puzzle of information, as he was highly involved, in research, politics, economics, education and a weird sense of humour... he travelled all over the world, there are boxes and boxes full of slides, with labels such as "when we travelled to the Nordic countries" "the pyramids of Oaxaca" "Rio de Janeiro and Caracas" "Capri" "Japan"... and many unlabelled paths. 
The search for me is about who my grandfather was, and understanding more of myself through that and the strong connection that we shared. Out of all the things I have found until now I decided to keep two things (of course with the permission of my grandmother).

- A photograph of my parents from 1980

- A collection of very poisonous scorpions, collected by my grandmother in 1944 while they lived in Irapuato. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

John Cage

"There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing" 

Friday, July 22, 2011


This is the copy of a chart that I found on an Indian philosophy book, it made me laugh a lot, as a very impulsive person, to think of myself, at times, at the border of insanity.

There is an extract from "The Long Way" from Bernard Moitessier, where he is trying to establish a relationship with birds, I think it to be a good and simple example of the importance of sensing a situation before any action. It is true that impulse prevents you from the time needed to process and asses.

"...And I had the feeling, again almost physically, that my hand drew them more than the cheese. I wanted to caress them, at least to try. But I did not gesture I risked breaking something very fragile. Wait a while longer, don't rush things, don't force things. Wait until the waves of friendship, made of invisible vibrations, reach their full maturity. You can spoil everything, trying to go faster than nature."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reserved Seats

 I was going through all the pictures I have taken over the last two years; trying to make a selection for myself to sum up (sigh)... experiences! I found that I constantly find four empty seats.