Awardee: Raven Chacon

Visual Arts, 2012

Raven Chacon is a composer and artist born in Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, AZ. He has recorded and performed works for classical and electronic instruments with ensembles nationally and abroad. Chacon received an MFA in music composition from the California Institute of the Arts. He has taught in the music and Native American studies departments at the University of New Mexico and has been a visiting artist in the New Media Art & Performance program at Long Island University. He is composer-in-residence for the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project and is a founding member of the First Nations Composers Initiative.

Project: Repellent Fence

Postcommodity will present The Repellent Fence: the largest bi-national land art installation ever exhibited on the U.S./Mexican border, near Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico. The Repellent Fence is comprised of 26 tethered “scare eye” balloons, ten feet in diameter, floating fifty feet above the desert landscape creating a temporary two-mile-long sculpture that intersects the US/Mexico border. With The Repellent Fence, Postcommodity seeks to build bi-national bridges between American Indian, Mexican and Latin American immigrant communities; demonstrate the interconnectedness of the Hemisphere; and reaffirm the indigeneity of immigrant peoples, as well as the original inhabitants of this region.

Collab: Postcommodity

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous voice to engage manifestations of globalism and the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public.

Postcommodity are the recipients of grants from the American Composers Forum, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Harpo Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Creative Capital, Art Matters, and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. The collective’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Headlands Center for the Arts; Site Santa Fe; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; Arizona State University Art Museum; Nuit Blanche, Toronto; Images Festival, Toronto; National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; 5th Biennial of the Moving Image, Mechelen; Adelaide International, Adelaide; and the 18th Biennale of Sydney.