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Edition #8
Conflict and Context
Alitza Nichole Cardona Collazo
Edited by Faustas Norvaisa

The currency of individual experiences: becoming the art of disaster 

How much is an experience worth? As I dwell on the past, I ask myself to grieve and let go because the future looks like it will not hold much space. The reality is we take up a lot of space. Processes take space. Never meaning the worst, the unfortunate thing about this condition is that this individuality, brought by the media, is meant to grow beyond you and me. Growth is calculated through many things. To these many things, I am not including the words that have yet to be invented to become the frontiers of understanding. Innovation spells objects of desire, casting necessities we do not yet dream of. If memories don’t deceive me, recalling is an act of strength. I can speak about the hurricane or the earthquake, but is it true that all you can do is turn it into data? Absurd. I know some people who transform necessities into opportunities for the soul.

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Image: Trusting (2017) Mural by Alitza Cardona

Painted on the walls are stories of transcendental humans. Those who keep building from the collateral damages brought forth by your desires. Those that keep building from all you spent become waste that washes up on their shores. Humans who turn necessities into realities and whose music gives birth to life while creating things that acquire value beyond their cost. Many intelligent people call these humans resilient, and they will respond with a smile because they know Intelligent people refuse to listen to the symmetries of their songs. The same that makes them forever strong and transforming, balancing their moral capacities towards what intelligent people might deem as knowledge. 


Whenever I look at the others who evaluate realities from their desks, I ask: Don't you see that the body that names the landscape doesn't rely on something other than the exact mechanisms nature holds true. However these natures manifest differently. The laws of gravity have no certainty over the destiny of my tears. These tears will become a mist that will constitute the clouds I draw when I feel the sun stop shining over my soul. I have experienced many hurricanes, but others have seen wars. However, in the end, we are still connected by the same ocean that sustains the currents of nature. The same thing keeps conditioning the categories of Western truths. 


I laugh because generalised truths only prevail on grey surfaces that reflect the inflexible conditions that construct the very same buildings, incapable of sustaining bombs received after someone's ego becomes shattered. Different from this scenario, those called resilient may embrace the same heart that will help them pick up the bodies that share their blood. 


There's no currency to value the worth of an experience and the creative gap between the things we understand and those we have yet to discover. What specific actions and objects mean is something we humans have always sought to convey. From caves to the pavement… From my Puerto Rican reality…

I continue expressing. 


Come, read with me a little bit closer. 


Every space is a canvas for the unconscious craft that is threaded and experienced. Choosing to live as we deem fit; every turn, gaze, intention, and progression leads us to some kind of survival. I hear there are new words to describe how I get to orient myself through this social plane. Never just tridimensional; there is always some hope through the windows and in the spaces I haven't dared to discover. However,


I want to break them all. 

                                      Are we capable of breaking them all?


Come feel me a little bit closer, for I am going to present to you art that survives through memory. In defence from discrete systems, memory always rebels through the creative spaces of uncharted potential.   


Stemming from the creative compassion my brush does not dare to claim sovereignty as it knows there will always be a driving force using its pressing power. 

                                                                    Paint is more dense than our emotions.

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 Image: Carmen (2016) by Alitza Cardona

I paint to transform grief. 


Without pain, there's no meaning. In serene contemplation, I would never notice anything lacking from what social life prescribes us. The fractures that branch from material things teach me about the concept of the form of matter. However, I feel time through the gaps where it fractures. Matter contains many places where some might say "light floods"; however, nobody seems to call it a disaster.

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Image: Amor de "Categoria 5" (2017) by Alitza Cardona

Not like when my eyes flood, 

or when the buildings sway

Both can claim some nature 

of a violent source.

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   Image:  Untitled (2017) by Jose Vega

I think about the future often. I bet we all do. We make plans and wish for the best. To prove we are chosen for whatever shape salvation takes. We move through a sea of transactions people call networks between you, me, and the horizon of our knowledge. That which we know about the things we are aware of in the world. Words carry movement and shape life through a stream of morality. There are many forms of life throughout these steps as I have myself and touch the descendants of my actions. Walking in connection with the discoveries I make through others. The same reality we share through sense.

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Image: "Vendiendo a pescado abómbao' " (2019) by Jose Vega

Music is built from the silence we share in the room, in space, and in whatever environment we contemplate. How are eyes capable of meeting, but our hearts keep getting lost in wonder. Such uncertainty is constructed from the same unknowns.

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Image: Reality of Fictions (2018) by Jose Vega

I notice a crack in the ceiling reaching down to my door, becoming part of it. Walking through it, I found people who chose not to be recorded in the stories being told. They believe that those who make it to be seen or recognized by the politics of history have never known peace. They choose to live happily in the gap. It becomes a place where the horizons are filled with light, a place where history has forgotten its shadows. The gap is a place some people have chosen to see as empty. For emptiness is an unfilled space and we do not always recognise how substance may harbour potential.

Image: Just like home (2017), by Alitza Cardona

People from the gap appreciate the shadows because they know the virtual reality of their light may not be touched, Identified, stolen or exploited.

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  Image: "Keep dreaming" (2017) by Jose Vega.

The future deserves the authenticity behind each experience of an individual from the collective. The product of those moments where words create realities shaped by belief. The gap is never empty but undiscovered.

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Image: Lo que Maria nos dejo (2017) by Jeniel Gonzalez

The real catastrophe of any war, large or small, is the trauma that comes with confronting the unknown in such a way it changes culture through a ripple effect. Decades after the horizon of a disaster event has dissipated, we still inherit the material precautions that manifest from instilled fears and beliefs.

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The creative's invisible but fiercely felt ability flourishes at the intersection where institutions have drawn frontiers of knowledge and have assured us an intangible shelter of things known. That which we don’t recognize as sheltered knowledge and what others recognize as  “the gap,” I call my friends, and in many instances, I’ve called it home.

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I move through those gaps where communities have been flourishing for hundreds of years, drawing in the walls, and singing the songs. Expressions that disguise their passion and necessity to understand those things corporations won’t value, but will selfishly take.

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Life - it’s the actual museum. The Gap is a place that fills the present and, simultaneously, is displaced many times throughout the temporalities drawn by historical narratives. These spaces are filled with people whose drawings on their bodies will tell you a story that starts with a name.

Image: El Vagon (2019) by Jose Vega

At the gap, I’ve had coffee with many voices that history refuses to listen to. Every day, the people of the gap use their hands to present visual metaphors that can help us make sense of the human empathy lost to individualism.

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Image: The realities of the Substance (2015) by Alitza Cardona

I understand the effort of my invisible but present community. Let out words, and the stroke of our brushes lend you the curiosity that reveals itself in knowledge. 


Those who write and create from suffering on the other side of the world while struggling to survive transmit the images of their efforts to be remembered beyond the colour of their blood.


Paint is more dense than memory. However, both of them weigh as much as our blood.

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Image: In memoriam (2018) by Jose Vega

Let the struggles of the creative - those that express themselves beyond the written word- lend you the effort to understand others well enough to trust. I would argue that trust, when seen as hope, has become an aspect of the social economy not assured through conquest but reinforced through survival.

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Maybe we are confusing everyday conquests with the utilitarian effects of exploited trust. I feel conquest is not solely about ownership nor the assumption of trade but about the belief in the existence of a deserving chosen and our identification with an aspect of their salvation. 


Come, let's imagine empathy, 

What will be unveiled.

the stories we will inherit, 

Can we afford to discover the depths of change?

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Image: Drowning without power (2018) by Jose Vega.

 Image: Capitalismo en el Desastre (2018) by Jose Vega

 Image: Hydrographic Map of Puerto Rico (2018) by Jose Vega

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