Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Pocho Research Society

The Pocho Research Society is a collective of artists, activists and rasquache historians who reside in Los Angeles.

Dedicated to the systematic investigation of space, memory and displacement, the PRS understands history as a battleground of the present, a location where hidden and forgotten selves hijack and disrupt the oppression of our moment.


Operation Invisible Monument

Public monuments are undeniably important sites in the projection and erection of hegemonic constructs. They often monumentalize heroic, romantic and militaristic versions of history and thereby deny density and complexity. Los Angeles is a rich and fertile terrain for the investigation of bulldozed and forgotten stories

In Operation Invisible Monument, the Pocho Research Society (PRS) confronts the construction of history through the public monument. Anonymous members installed mock historic plaques at four locations. These monuments entitled Tropical America, El Otro Ellis, The Displacement of the Displaced and The Triumph of the Tagger, commemorate moments in Los Angeles history that have not been officially recognized. In the first of several actions, the PRS identified strategic sites in an effort to pay homage to historic erasure. By inserting plaques, the PRS hopes to interrupt historical amnesia, trigger memory and interrogate the present in order to see the world with fresh eyes rather than the diesel haze of a media-blurred present. The result, ideally, is a reconstruction or destruction of the hegemonic world view responsible for the erection of the site's original monuments.

SITES: Tropical America / Displacement of the Displaced / El Otro Ellis / Triumph of the Tagger

Echoes in the Echo: A Series of Public Interventions About Gentrification In and Around Echo Park

Echoes in the Echo is a series of public interventions that will explore History and memory in and around Echo Park. This phase of the project commemorates a few of many queer Latina/o spaces that were a "home" to many for periods of up to a couple of decades and have since changed ownership and now cater to a new, straighter, younger and whiter clientele. This project takes place while the city, itself, is at a crossroads in its own history. Dramatic increases in real estate prices coupled with commercially driven development projects facilitated by elected officials are two of a multitude of forces that push many working class communities out of the city "core." Waves of new 'immigrants' (albeit from the Midwest) have in the process displaced longstanding cultural spaces created over several decades. Within this massive “land grab” questions like ‘where do drag queens, closeted quebradita dancers and gay cholos go once they been pushed out?’ arise. How and who defines a space? Is a space defined by its present incarnations or does its past ruthlessly resurface like dust in unswept corners?

Artist Leaves Mark on Former Latino Gay Bars (89.3 KPCC)

There's no shortage of opinion in the Southland about what constitutes a landmark. Earlier this week, in the dead of night, one Los Angeles artist cemented her own historical plaques to commemorate the Latino gay bars she says have been gentrified out of the Silver Lake area. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez went along and filed this report.

Operation Invisible Monument @ The October Surprise

SITES: The DeCenter / The Popular Resource Center / The Vex


Operation Invisible Monument / The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, Issue#3

Sandra de la Loza Statement & Biography