Light Factory Publications is excited to present bosque brotante, the newest title in the Present Cartographers Series. The printing and launch of this publication, like so much more around us, was delayed by a global pandemic. It was set to be released in communities in-person in New Mexico and Chihuahua in March and April, but the launch plans, as well as the final edits and printing, were stalled by closures and physical distancing measures. Now, finally, a digital copy is ready for you to see and download. Print copies will also be available for shipping soon.
bosque brotante documents three conversations that took place along the Rio Grande in 2019. The conversations, textile and ceramic exchanges that accompanied them, as well as the book itself, are all inter-linked extensions of an artwork by Daisy Quezada Ureña that was produced for the 2019 exhibition, Species in Peril Along the Rio Grande (Josie Lopez and Subhankar Banerjee, curators; September 18 – December 18, 2019, 516 Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico). In the exhibition three ceramic seed-shaped objects made from textiles exchanged between the contributors and the artist, sat on soil from the locations of the conversations. The soil and the ceramic pods were set into three industrial metal drums. As a final action in this artwork, Quezada Ureña plans to deliver copies of this book, each of the ceramic pods and the soil they sat on to their original sites as soon as possible. In this way the publication, bosque brotante, is only one piece of a larger artistic and ecological consideration of the Rio Grande –or bosque, as it is referred to in some parts of New Mexico– from Santa Clara Pueblo and Cocheti Pueblo in New Mexico down to San Agustín, Chihuahua, New Mexico.
Inter-linked but apart from the objects that were seen in the exhibition, bosque brotante is a record of conversations that sprouted out of three sites in the Rio Grande region. In the first, Beata Tsosie-Peña, a long-time environmental activist from Santa Clara Pueblo and member of Tewa Women United, with Marian Naranjo, a community organizer, founder and director of Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE), discuss the river as a part of Tewa World. Their experiences with threats to the river, most notably the toxic effluent and fires resulting from Los Alamos National Laboratory, are brought into sharp focus. Jonathan Loretto, a potter and educator for Cochiti Pueblo, with Roxanne Swentzell, a ceramic artist, Indigenous food activist and leader in permaculture education from Santa Clara Pueblo, discuss the history of containment and imposed colonization on the control and management of waters. Finally, Professor Manuel Robles Flores from San Agustín, Chihuahua, founder of el Museo Regional del Valle De Juarez—among other community programs and social services— joins Oralia Prieta Gomez, Susana Landeros Moreno and Ana Jazmin Rodriguez in a discussion of the river’s flora and fauna, it’s histories, as well as the way Mexicans have resisted the racismo ambiental (environmental racism) of plans to build nuclear waste disposal sites nearby in Texas.
The Present Cartographers series features publications in which artists examine the places and people who occupy border geographies and languages.