Combos de Video [Informal Archive] #cubacreativa 2014-2019

Combos de Video (Video Combos) (2014-2019) is a research on social creativeness, living heritage, tradition, popular culture and culture of survival under the circumstances, in the first place, of a depressed economy, and secondly, in the alternative conditions in which the creative practices of the disenfrenchised of any society usually occur or emerge.

The project started as a proposal on social creativeness and the informal market in the Cuban context in 2014 through the creation of Combos de Video has succeeded in expanding at present, based on its possibilities of interaction with other contexts or cities. It resulted in the creation of #cubacreativa and using the Instagram social network, achieving number- less connections and a range of new thematic possibilities determined by the circumstances and dynamics of each locality.

This project underlines the socio-economic and cultural aspects of the researched contexts, and articulates these phenomena of social creativeness with the circulation process or meth- odology implemented in each case from the field of art. The purpose is to reconnect in a or- ganic way with the context where these practices will be documented through the use of the distribution forms and informal media found in the context itself. The project intervenes the informal networks derived from each one of the contexts as circulation platform and access for its work. In this regard it also has a utilitarian function because it comprises a collection of solutions for daily life: a sort of do it yourself or free circulation tutorials created in the social practice, where each user will have access to information in the archive with a horizontal perspective of shared authorship.

Still in the stage of development is the platform Informal Artchive (iA), which will become an archive directly connected to the daily life of each context in which the project has been developed. iA would facilitate a discussion on the relation between the informal practices (non-institutional) and the curatorial strategies in the creation of archives. Using the Wiki format, iA will have the potential to expand through the interaction of users who collaborate by sharing and editing information in the web project and through discussions in the online public forum.

The establishment of iA as virtual space will unite the participating informal communities with the artistic sphere. iA will serve as a space that shows less visible practices and local phenomena. iA will maintain regular communication with the participating communities in order to develop common strategies, share local information of interest, and create future collaborations. From the perspectives of the Archive, this work addresses different produc- tion, circulation and consumption models. It also offers possibilities to critique the changes in the realm of art production. Consequently, iA in its structure, offers the knowledge of these new possibilities through the connections and similarities established at global level, cham- pioning creative individuals and groups practicing beyond the artistic sphere. The links estab- lished in different contexts could be structured based on selective criteria such as informal economy, recycling, collaboration networks, technological adaptations, etc. that share nodes in their respective fields (design, distribution, promotion, management…) and offer opportu- nities to each user as in a participatory network.

The exploration starts with the search for adequate terms that represent each language and culture in relation to the definition of a new term pertaining to artistic and creative prac- tices within the binary of legal – illegal (a-legal).

Examples of the terms found on a global level:

Havana / Camagüey_CUBA [2015]
Havana Biennial, Ludwig Foundation, Havana, Cuba.

Names: La lucha / Por la izquierda / Invento cubano.

Zones of interest: Neighborhood in Old Havana, Centro Habana and La Cuevita market.

Presentation and distribution: Creation of a file as part of the Weekly Pack- age, and distribution through its two main centers: the ODISEA and OMEGA Studios. Public intervention of the informal shopping network of DVDs containing illegal audiovisual materials that are sold in different zones of Havana. Collaboration with ETRES Advertising Agency and the digital mag- azine VENUS with the purpose of enhancing the project’s scope. Exhibition and conference schedule in the spaces of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba.

Asunción_PARAGUAY [2015] Biennial of Asunción, Asunción, Paraguay.

Names: Ta ́ AngaryryiAty / Mercaderías Varias (Diverse Merchandise).

Zones of interest: La Chacarita neighborhood; markets of Ciudad del Este,(triple border BRAZIL, ARGENTINA and PARAGUAY).

Presentation and distribution: Intervention in eight commercial kiosks of Asunción’s historical center, where a wide range of products are sold, in- cluding discs and USBs with pirated audiovisual contents. Production col- laboration with small DVD stores in Market 4 for the creation of USBs with information on the project. Exhibition in second-hand bookstore, La Gloria.

Marseille / Paris_FRANCE [2017]
l’Institut français and Dos Mares, Marseille, France.

Names: Systeme D / Tombe du camion.

Zones of interest: Vieux-Port and Marché aux Puces et Antiquités (Cannebiére, Belsunce, Bouches-du-Rhóne…)

Presentation and distribution: Creation of public service networks in col- laboration with some of the foundations in the center of Marseille: recycling abandoned bicycles; exchanging useful refuse; establishing illegal tea and refreshments sales points in tourist areas. Documentating the process of illegal transactions by “manteros”. Creating an online channel that broad- casts the project. Informal distribution of the project ́s information by means of a promotional flyer placed by house doors, public spaces, and car windshields.