Search Results for ‘miguel luciano’

Two Talks This Week

First, tomorrow @ MIT (5:15pm, 14E-310):

What can we learn about contemporary culture from watching dayglo-clad teenagers dancing geekily in front of their computers in such disparate sites as Brooklyn, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, and Mexico City? How has the embrace of “new media” by so-called “digital natives” facilitated the formation of transnational, digital publics? More important, what are the local effects of such practices, and why do they seem to generate such hostile responses and anxiety about the future?


Next, Thursday @ Princeton (4:30pm, McCormick Hall 101):

A roundtable featuring myself and my co-editor Raquel, the brilliant blogger Marisol LeBron, DJ El Niño (one of my key consultants while writing my chapter for the book), Ines “Deevani” Rooney (aka, reggaeton singer and sister of Luny), and the great Miguel Luciano (whose Pure Plantainum pic really makes our book cover POP).

9 comments November 9th, 2009

Covers, Blurbs, y Otras Traducciones

Amazing how an Amazon link makes our book finally feel real. (Pre-orders in teh house!)

And though they don’t have any imgs yet, I’m happy to report that I do, and — having lobbied HARD for this particular photo by Miguel Luciano to grace our cover — I’m thrilled to share it with y’all:

On the other hand side, I may be as excited about the back cover as the front, since we were able to land such luminary thinkers and wordsmiths re: music and race and nation as Jeff Chang, Mark Anthony Neal, Juan Flores, and Residente (!).

Since I’m in a sharing mood, here’s a pdf of an article by Flores that makes a wonderful argument about diaspora “as source and challenge” what with its many “cultural remittances” “from below.” (Incidentally, Centro is offering many more pdfs at their site; see, e.g., the 2004 issue on “Rican Structing Roots / Routes,” from which this piece comes.)

Flores’s narrative centers on salsa and rap, but I’ve found the thesis utterly illuminating wrt reggaeton (as readers of my chapter in the book will see) —

>> Flores, Juan. “Creolité in the ‘Hood: Diaspora as Source and Challenge.” Centro Journal 16, no. 2 (2004): 282-93.

& while I’m at it, here are two excerpts featured on a relatively recent Tego mixtape (almost a year old now, actually). I offer these up as each wonderful examples of how reggaeton “works,” if you will, consistent with the rich remix/reference culture that it is.

The first is a reworking of Fabolous’s unavoidable track from last year (and/or 2007), “Make Me Better” (incidentally, is it just me or does that central string motif sound awfully close to a recurring bit from the Lost score?). We hear here, among other things, how reggaeton artists — just as their “underground” bredren did in the 1990s — continue to version contemporary US/urban pop, translating and transforming the sounds that surround us:

>> Tego Calderón (feat. De La Ghetto), “Tú Me Haces Sentir”*

As you hear toward the end there, that track leads into a rowdy cumbia parody (sounding remarkably similar to a Manu Chao song in the chorus). I like how it shows reggaeton’s ability to incorporate / allude to other genres — and the “cultural work” inherent to such (re)figurations — not to mention how it shows off reggaeton’s (and Tego’s) sense of humor, with El Negro Calde putting on an extra coarse accent for “realism”:

>> Tego Calderón, “El Hijo’e Puta Sin Saludar”*

* for some reason, the tracks above sound distorted when listened to through the player; click on the song titles to hear more clearly.

11 comments March 7th, 2009

Pimp My Piragua

El Ganso Gris has a nice lil piece today (w/ video!) about Miguel Luciano‘s “Pimp My Piragua” project.

I’ve talked about Miguel’s work here before. It’s stunning stuff, and I’m thrilled to report that a shot from his “Pure Plantainum” series is gonna grace the cover of our reggaeton book (due out this spring!)!

1 comment October 2nd, 2008

omg cholesterol

  • rachel makes an interesting point about parallel discussions happening in other places on the network — "It's really fun when I find discussions in the comments on various African music sites engaging similar questions as the folks at and dutty artz." :: this needn't be an elitist convo, no? should i learn french then? (but of course!)
  • new yorkers! — don't miss miguel luciano's latest, "pimp my piragua," at corono plaza :: "Pimp my Piragua is a multi-media, mobile public art work that combines tropical nostalgia and urban fantasies in a hyper-modified street vendor’s pushcart. Piraguas are cups of shaved ice dowsed in tropical flavors that you can buy from push carts on hot summer days. They are nostalgic symbols of the tropics, recreated by transplanted Latino communities throughout New York. In Pimp my Piragua, a humble pushcart gets remade into a lowrider fantasy-mobile that commemorates the innovations of Latino street vendors while questioning materialist fantasies of attainment."
  • "The Commonwealth is based on the delegation of power, and not of rights. It acquires a monopoly on killing and provides in exchange a conditional guarantee against being killed. Security is provided by the law, which is a direct emanation from the power monopoly of the state (and is not established by man according to human standards of right and wrong). And as this law flows directly from absolute power, it represents absolute necessity in the eyes of the individual who lives under it. In regard to the law of the state – that is, the accumulated power of society as monopolized by the state – there is no question of right or wrong, but only absolute obedience, the blind conformism of bourgeois society."
  • the newyorktimes finally gets up-to-the-times and offers a profile of "di genius" stephen mcgregor :: the article does little to illuminate what makes his sound distinctive, and misuses the term "juggling," but good to see the grey goose with an ear to the ground

videyoga :: (h/t ripley :: spot-on bulgarian ragga riff :: rapidfire cliches, anti-gay 4 authenticitay)

1 comment September 21st, 2008

Teorí­as de la Dependencia

Sandra Garcia Rivera riffea re: William Carlos Williams y Miguel Luciano

The White Nike Sneaker

so much depends

a white Nike

dyed in patriot

sported by young

1 comment April 24th, 2007

El Arte de Blin-Blin Politricks

Pictured above is a shot of Filiberto Ojeda Uptowns / Machetero Air Force Ones by visual artist Miguel Luciano, as featured in a show opening this Sunday, April 15, at Bard College. I’ve been an admirer of Luciano’s arresting approach since Raquel Rivera (who brought this latest project to my attn) sent me a digital dossier of his work to consider for inclusion in Reading Reggaeton. I was quite struck by his Pure Plantainum series — “playful and painful” really says it — and I almost immediately felt that we should put Plátano Pride (see below) on the cover, as it suggests so many poignant readings itself. Critical and empathetic, cartoonish and complex, the image seems to shine a funhouse mirror back at reggaeton’s blinblineo

Here’s a description of the project —

Miguel Luciano transforms the image of the plantain or platano from a stereotype to an icon in his Pure Plantinum series. He explores this complex symbol of Caribbean culture, embedded with layered references to race and class, through associations with the exploitation of field laborers, and its pejorative use as slang for Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants. An actual green plantain was cast in metal and plated with precious platinum, the giant-sized pendant hangs on a platinum chain and is displayed here as a precious object. It was also photographed in the window of King of Platinum, a store in Harlem, where it is presented as an emblematic token of respect. An object imbued with value in the context of today’s hyper-materialism.

About Luciano’s latest piece of vivid, critical art, Raquel has this to say:

For me, it hurts to look at Filiberto–icon of armed struggle for Puerto Rican independence assasinated in 2005 by the F.B.I.–emblazoned all over these sneakers. I find this piece to be an insightful and deeply disturbing commentary on our consumption-obsessed lives, particularly painful in the context of Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship to the United States.

And Miguel says this:

The Filiberto Ojeda Uptowns / Machetero Air Force Ones are a customized pair of Nike sneakers that pay tribute to the assassinated leader of the Macheteros, a clandestine group of Puerto Rican nationalists who’ve campaigned for independence in Puerto Rico since the 1970’s. Filiberto Ojeda was brutally assassinated by the F.B.I. on September 23, 2005 and has since been revered by many as the “Puerto Rican Che Guevara”. A pair of Nike sneakers become an unlikely vehicle of veneration for the fallen leader that both complicate and question how nationalism and resistance are embodied within today’s colonial consumerist society. Nevertheless, they engage alternative strategies towards reconstructing symbols of resistance from the objects of material desire, while questioning the commodification of Revolution. The Machetero Air Force Ones transform Nike’s Swoosh logo into a ready-made Machete symbol, as the mantra of Nike’s “goddess of victory” gives way to “hasta la victoria siempre”.

& Calle 13 says this (pues, not about the sneakers, but about the assassination of Ojeda):

& just to underscore the connection to (corporate) colonialism, I leave you with one more provocative, painful piece by Luciano (more here, here, and here; interviews here and here) —

Have it your way? Just do it? This is why we hot?

7 comments April 13th, 2007


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com


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