Becoming the Virtual Chicana

Exhibition: SDSU Flor y Canto, April 2012

The Virtual Chicana is a personal and self-reflective response to documenting transformation in Barrio Logan. Borrowing from Gloria AnzaldĂșa, the walks I have taken in Barrio Logan have led me onto my own path of conocimiento, meaning knowledge. This unexpected revelation has transformed my own identity, highlighting the fragmentation of both Chicana/o, Latina/o identities within the borderland. Exploring this as an alter-ego is an ongoing journey of how both identity and land come together to create a relationship between self and place. Artistically, becoming the Virtual Chicana has manifested itself into a variety of works.

Digital video and music, live performance, still images, ViewMaster image reels, and revamped traditional Mexican dresses are used to explore my own identity as a first generation Mexican American transforming into a Chicana. Barrio Logan acts as both a background and motivating force for this exploration. Not everyone of Mexican descent in America is the same. Not all Mexican Americans grew up in a barrio, and not all consider themselves Chicanos. This story is my own. It grew out of my barrio encounters that forced me to question the identity I had assumed for myself, as well as the assumptions that others have made about me both inside and outside the barrio.