– Spring/Summer 2016

Cooperativa Cráter Invertido: A Binding Latency

Sol Henaro

Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Pabellón 1994. Solidaridad, Venceremos (Pavilion 1994. Solidarity, We Will Win), 2012, installation including an archive and construction materials. All images courtesy the artists

Contemporary art is often produced collaboratively, but collaboration is not always overtly present in the work and is rarely sustained over time. Yet for some, such collective processes are indispensable, for they bear the possibility of myriad contagions – a commoning of desires and affinities that may not be entirely clear in the beginning even if the drives are very tangible. Collective exercises, such as those carried out by Cooperativa Cráter Invertido1 (Inverted Crater Cooperative, CCI), are often filled with tensions and doubts about how best to administer energy, responsibility and visibility. Historically there are recurrent, unresolved questions: how to care for and reactivate affective relations; how to resist exhaustion and cope with changes in members’ interests; how to regulate egotistical excesses; how to negotiate between singular and collective voices while at the same time preventing singular positions from becoming diluted within the group or, on the contrary, becoming inextricable from it. Such is the paradox of collaboration: to be one with the group while remaining one within the group.

I. Vulcan in Monster City

(Or the Appearance of CCI)

I will not attempt to trace a complete genealogy of how

  1. Current CCI members are Yollotl Alvarado, Juan Caloca, Dasha Chernysheva, Sari Dennise, Wayzatta Fernández, Andrés García, Aline Hernández, Jazael Olguín Zapata, Diego Teo, Rodrigo Treviño and Andrés Villalobos. Former CCI members are Maik Dally, Rodrigo Frenk Natalia Magdaleno, Víctor del Moral, Erik Tlaseca and Nicolas Wills.

  2. Conversation with the author, September 2015.

  3. Siempre Otra Vez is also a group founded by Dasha Chernysheva, Jazael Olguín Zapata, Diego Teo and Andrés Villalobos. Dedicated to the production of fanzines, it is currently part of CCI.

  4. YoSoy132 was a social movement that rallied against Enrique Peña Nieto and the perceived media bias during the 2012 elections, calling for greater democratisation of Mexico’s political institutions. The movement began as a gesture of solidarity with 131 students from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, who were vilified for speaking out against Peña Nieto; many supporters took to social media to identify themselves as the 132nd student.

  5. Conversation with the author, September 2015.

  6. A full list of the collectives involved can be found at http://www.craterinvertido.org (last accessed on 4 February 2016).

  7. CCI have mantained a close dialogue with the Escuela de Cultura Popular Mártires del 68 (School of Popular Culture Martyrs of 68), an autonomous initiative that has instigated educational processes in connection with social processes. Like CCI, they fund themselves by sharing their publishing skills and tools with others.

  8. Conversation with the author, November 2015.

  9. See http://otrosporlatierra.blogspot.mx/2012/06/un-ojo-de-dios-por-wirikuta.html (last accessed on 4 February 2016).

  10. This idea is borrowed from a 2010 project titled ‘Rotatorio’, realised by Diego Teo and Andrés Villalobos (from CCI) together with Paola de Anda, Diana María González, Maj Britt Jensen, Ana Luisa Lacorte, Lauro López, Jonathan Miralda, Eduardo Olivares, Livia Radwanski, Daniel Toca and Javier Toscano. In this project, the participants generated a box, which included editions by each of the participants, in order to finance their collective practices over a one-year period.

  11. For this book, Cruzvillegas translated the texts upon hearing them read aloud. The book appeared in Spanish as David Hammons: Por Esto Estamos Aquí, Mexico City: Editorial Alias, 2011. The launch took place at Kurimanzutto in Mexico City on 18 October 2012.

  12. Members of CCI have applied for state funding to finance some of their projects, but in this instance they refused to do so given the connection of the current government to drug-related violence.

  13. This is a term coined by Mexican artist Maris Bustamante to refer to the proliferation of groups in Mexico, and Mexico City in particular, during the 1970s and 80s. See M. Bustamante, ‘1963–1983: Veinte años de no-objetualismos en México’, Ramona, 4 June 2008, available at http://www.ramona.org.ar/node/20993 (last accessed on 4 February 2016).

  14. See Alberto Hijar (ed.), Frentes, coaliciones y talleres: Grupos visuales en México en el siglo XX, Mexico City: Casa Juan Pablos, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Centro Nacional de Investigación Documentación e Información de Artes Plásticas, 2009.

  15. See O. Debroise, C. Medina et al. (ed.), La Era de la Discrepancia: Arte y cultura visual en México 1968–1997, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte, 2007.

  16. Temístocles 44 included artists Eduardo Abaroa, Abraham Cruzvillegas, José Miguel González Casanova, Daniel Guzmán, Damián Ortega, Luis Felipe Ortega, Melanie Smith, Sofía Táboas and Pablo Vargas Lugo, amongst others. They produced a quarterly pamphlet titled Alegría (Joy), and some members later joined the publishing house Casper in Mexico City.

  17. See Sol Henaro, ‘Apuntes sobre espacios independientes de los años noventa en México’, Revista de artes visuales Errata, no.6, December 2011.