ON THE OVERFLOW FORMS OF THE COLORADO RIVER DELTA
            LOS DESBORDAMIENTOS EN EL DELTA DEL RÍO COLORADO




On the Overflow forms of the Colorado River Delta is an ongoing research that intends to address the geology of the Delta and hydrogeological memories in Mexicali, Mexico. It seeks to recognize and trace the consequences of systemic extractivism under a geological reading: from the time-space scales, the domination and control over water, necropolitics, and how it interacts with our present ecologies. This work will explore themes related to the material extractivism of the territory, its plundering, and hydrological dispossession, but it also attempts to narrate from a fictional point of view, through deep listening and the formal studies of these ecologies. The reflection arose from the sites of Laguna Salada and the Cerro Prieto volcano and geothermal plant. “On Overflows in the Colorado River Delta” will be part of Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado—a growing community archive that seeks to gather, give visibility, and rewrite the intimate stories of our human-river relationship, primarily but not exclusively in the Delta region.

“On the Overflows” was conceived within the framework of the Postnatural Independent Program (PIP) coordinated by the Institute of Postnatural Studies in Madrid.  For the presentation of the project at INTERMEDIAE MATADERO, I presented a series of intervened maps with notes, images, and archives intended to juxtapose and stratify the multiple contradictions that exist in the geohistorical narratives of the delta region of the Colorado River. In them, I desired to have a conversation with settler-colonialism in Baja California, with the dispossession and privatization of subterranean commons, with the river water that has not dampened the desert in decades, and the future of systemic extractivism in Baja California.

This research has been supported by PECDA Baja California 2023-24.

CERRO PRIETO, a volcano, and geothermal power plant

        an assemblage of images that include fieldwork and archival research.




ARCHIVO FAMILIAR DEL RÍO COLORADO





Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado
is a project coordinated by Jessica Sevilla, Mayté Miranda, and Rosela del Bosque that has worked in close collaboration with Enero y Abril since 2021, Leslie García since 2020, and recently with Hoshi André Ramirez. The collective was formed in 2020 in Mexicali by conducting fieldwork and documental research for a year before launching to the public in 2021.

Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado is a collaborative project that explores the relationships between people, ecosystems, settlements, and water in the Colorado River deltaic region. It seeks to produce, collect, and edit documental registers, emphasizing the family archive, and investigate how memory is constructed through contingent relationships with water. It uses the artistic field as a means to explore different experiences of territory and landscape; from the affections, fiction, and experimentation; considering the asymmetrical tensions that operate in Mexicali and the US/Mexico border at geopolitical, institutional, and corporal scales. The project is based in Mexicali, Mexico, and has been expanding ever since its launch in 2021. It began as an Open call and is now a platform for artistic research projects, curatorial work, and the intersection between contemporary art, ecological crisis, and community-building. Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado consists of various interrelated activities: we launch open calls, archive, organize walks, public events, talks, and workshops, curate exhibitions, and publish zines. We work with local and international institutions, universities, collectives, researchers, and artists.is a growing community archive that seeks to gather, give visibility, and rewrite the intimate stories of our human-river relationship— primarily but not exclusively, in the delta region.

Our research work hopes to overcome flat notions of water landscapes, of the river as a provider of ecosystem services, and of water as a resource, to delve into the experiences of the tangible, multisensory, and spiritual relationships with water and the biosphere. We expect to find in these experiences and their repositories (objects of memories and desires) new paths to rebuild ties with a river that has been hidden, dried up, piped, and polluted throughout the region. And we question what form the art of the archive, or the archive and art, can take to reveal alternatives in the face of imminent catastrophe, when the dominant discourse for conservation and the human-nature relationship continues to be instrumental and economically oriented.

The project launched in 2020 with an ongoing open call for family images, fiction, and oralities on the deltaic region of the Colorado River. 
If you have any archive, story, or memory to share, please send your materials to the email: archivofamiliardelriocolorado@gmail.com



INVOCATIONS TO THE WATER BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS
            INVOCACIONES AL AGUA ENTRE LOS CERROS





“Invocations to Water between the Mountains” is an artistic research project dedicated to the exploration of Laguna Salada: a dry basin located between the Sierras Juárez, Cucapá, El Mayor, and Las Pintas. This sandy depression, formerly called Laguna Macuata (probably an appropriation of the Cucapá Ja Wi Mak or water behind the Mountains), was intermittently filled by floods from the Colorado River and tides from the Gulf of California, until a few decades after the large dams.

With the change of the landscape, the layers and networks of interaction between matter, energy, and beings that existed there are being forgotten. Invoking appeals to the memory of its cycles and phenomena, to the present of its imperceptible organisms and flows, to the conflict of its future. “The Invocations” is a series of gestures that will seek water in different languages. For example, to the specter of the great spring wave and its roar, to the reflected light; to the vanishing memory of its qualities, and to future relationships.

“The Invocations” will be part of the Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado — a larger project that begins to search for diverse materials on the history of the river and our relationship to it, prompted by the prevailing regional water scarcity and to examine the historical claim of dominion and control over water.

Coordinated by Jessica Sevilla in collaboration with Planta Libre, a platform directed by Minoru Kiyota with curator Rosela del Bosque and artist Mayte Miranda. Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado has been thought and worked hand in hand with Leslie Garcia and the Invocations are a collaboration with Enero y Abril.

︎︎︎This project was possible thanks to the support of Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo, Planta Libre, cultural agents, and collaborators of the Archivo

︎︎︎”Invocations to the Water among the Mountains” took place on 1, 2, and 5 of April 2023 in Mexicali, Mexico —as walks, workshops, project proposals, and self-publishing works with invited artists and cultural practitioners.



01 Chapter: Walk around Pozo and Ruta Coyote (Southeast Laguna Salada) with Enero y Abril, Alexia Hernández, Jessica Sevilla, Mayté Miranda, Karina Villalobos, and Rosela del Bosque.


02 Chapter: Walk through the Naturalis Cucapá trail with Enero y Abril, Alexia Hernández, Ricardo Corral, Hugo Fermé, Pastizal Zamudio, Jessica Sevilla, Santiago, and Chao Chato. 

03 Chapter: Walk and camping in Guadalupe Canyon with Enero y Abril, Jessica Sevilla, Mauricio Villa, Ricardo Corral, Mayté Miranda, Fredy Galarza, Renata Noriega, Santiago, and Rosela del Bosque

GLOSSARY PAST FUTURE PRESENT
OF THE COLORADO RIVER 






This glossary is an ongoing project where I’ll be constantly adding new words, terms, non-human fellows, treaties/geopolitical undoings, natural phenomena, histories of sub-basins of the Delta region, and beyond ︎

The first edition was presented as part of the Mexicali Biennial “Land of Milk and & Honey”  on view at the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum.

Download the Glossary here