GUILDWORKS’, Latin American, (Latino) and Hispanic cultural focus, together with indigenous Latin American roots-music and culturally based digital (visual) multi-media, in addition to GUILDWORKSiAbraham micro-business initiatives and our elHOMEbre urban outreach program comprise a unique, preeminent cross-section of its digital media and global currents – setting the cadence for GUILDWORKS digital content lexicon.
GUILDWORKS’ geoscapes require us to come into them as global citizens; Nomad travelers. Open-hearted pilgrims walking Las Posadas or on the road to Sanctuario de Chimayo listening to the lithe, liminal sonics of accordion-notes de-crescendoing down over Milagro’s infamous beanfields and the volcanic raw-umber, amarillo mesas.
Latin American culturas – Latino temperament, Hispanic-heritage and Liberation Theology all continue to be living, driving spiritual and social forces in GUILDWORKS; And all hold special places in GUILDWORKS’ heart. Our Urban outreach initiative elHOMEbre (Guildworks’ program for homeless, disenfranchised and dispossessed) emerged from a starry night’s arc on a cool Santa Fe evening near my Mexican Chiminea; in my Mother’s Medio home, a kiva-fireplace burns juniper and piñon, spitting scintillas upward and up to roam clear New Mexico constellations. Everywhere in La Ciudad de Santa Fe, cedar-scented smoke warms adobe walls and the welcoming flavors of Northern New Mexico’s mélange of Hispanic, (Spanish, Latin American, and most recently Puerto Rican) culturas fluidly intermix into the City of Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi; Santa Fe. Old World (pre-Columbian) Hospitality is inextricably woven into the fabric of the oldest capitol city, and continuing Christian community in America. A Latin American love of Jesus and injunction to extend His radical hospitality, with the sweetness of warm welcome though offering food and shelter, defines most Native (Latino/Hispanic) Santa Feans.
But in the shadow of this intense savór, this fierce passion for living every (often seemingly random moments) to their fullest are the gorge. Precipice. The abyss. Sometimes traversable, sometimes too wide, a victim of its own depth, and monumental breadth of consuming emotions.
BAJO EL VOLCAN showcases artists and images encompassing both realized and failed potentials of the ungovernably passionate, Latin American, “Latino” soul. A certain fervid, deeply mystical passion, and vast scope of volcanic emotional landscape, uniquely depicting a visual and sonic cross-section spanning a lust for life so often ascribed to Latinos and their diverse intra-cultures. Sometimes exploding with heat, light and color while our senses celebrate Carnival, inhaling the noises and loudly proclaiming viva las Fiestas! Other times, stumbling forward blinded by rage black as obsidian – sweating, in delirium of fear and trembling; humid, and not always completely human. Sometimes Bajo el Volcan.
"'No se puede vivir sin amar,' they would say, which would explain everything, and he repeated this aloud. How could he have thought so evil of the world when succour was at hand all the time? And now he had reached the summit, Ah, Yvonne, sweetheart, forgive me! Strong hands lifted him. Opening his eyes, he looked down, expecting to see, below him, the magnificent jungle, the heights, Pico de Orizabe, Malinche, Cofre de Perote, like those peaks of his life conquered one after another before this greatest ascent of all had been successfully, if unconventionally, completed. But there was nothing there: no peaks, no life, no climb. Nor was this summit a summit, exactly: it had no substance, no firm base. It was crumbling too, whatever it was, collapsing, while he was falling, falling into the volcano, he must have climbed it after all, though now there was this noise of foisting lava in his ears, horribly, it was in eruption, yet no, it wasn't the volcano, the world itself was bursting, bursting into black spouts of villages catapulted into space, with himself falling through it all, through the inconceivable pandemonium of a million tanks, through the blazing of ten million burning bodies, falling, into a forest, falling—Suddenly he screamed, and it was as though this scream were being tossed from one tree to another, as its echoes returned, then, as though the trees themselves were crowding nearer, huddled together, closing over him, pitying . . . Somebody threw a dead dog after him down the ravine."
Malcolm Lowery Under The Volcano