Blog Post

Ricardo Dominguez and the criminalization of artistic work

Ricardo Dominguez, the Electronic Disturbance Theater, and the b.a.n.g. lab need our help. Dominguez, if you are not aware, is well-known for his work in tactical media. His zapatista flood net is one of the iconic projects of early net.art. Recently Dominguez and his colleagues at UCSD have been developing the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a mobile phone application designed to help those crossing the US-Mexico board do so safely by showing them safe trials and locations of water caches. However, there have been a number of rather vitriolic attacks against the project. Recently, the furore has reached a dangerous level. Dominguez and his colleagues are now under investigation for "misuse" of funds, have received threats of violence and murder, and are being investigated for a virtual sit-in related to the recent protests in the UC system...using the very tool that ostensibly gave Dominguez his job at UCSD. And, to add insult to injury, UC police officers visited his office on 31 March informing him of potential criminal charges at city, county, state, and federal levels.

These actions against Dominguez and his colleagues are attempts to silence activities that should be protected, all the more so within a university. As we can recall from just six years ago, the harassment we see now in this case has troubling resonances with that experienced by Critical Art Ensemble. As in that case it is important now to show our solidarity. I want to encourage everyone to read more about the case and send letters of support if they can. Dominguez is meeting with UCSD administrators on April 8th, so send your letters soon!

84

No comments