Guillermo Gómez-Peña was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in 1978, where he established himself as a performance artist, writer, activist, and educator. He has pioneered multiple media, including performance art, experimental radio, video, performance photography and installation art. His eight books include essays, experimental poetry and chronicles in both English, Spanish and Spanglish.
Most of his artistic and intellectual work concerns the interface between North and South (Mexico and the U.S.), border culture and the politics of the brown body. His original interdisciplinary arts projects and books explore borders, physical, cultural and otherwise, between his two countries and between the mainstream U.S. and the various Latino cultures: the U.S.-Mexico border itself, immigration, cross-cultural and hybrid identities, and the confrontation and misunderstandings between cultures, languages and races. His artwork and literature also explore the politics of language, the side effects of globalization, “extreme culture” and new technologies from a Latino perspective. He is a patron of the London-based Live Art Development Agency. Gómez-Peña received both his B.A. (1981) and M.A. (1983) from California Institute of the Arts. He studied Linguistics and Latin American Literature at the UNAM (1974–1978, Mexico City).
Ricardo Dominguez is an artist and associate professor of visual arts at UC San Diego. He has been the subject of controversy over a number of acts of electronic civil disobedience on his own and with the Electronic Disturbance Theater, which he co-founded with Brett Stalbuam, Stefan Wray, and Carmin Karasic.
Electronic Disturbance Theater, has organized “virtual sit-ins” that attempted to disturb websites with a program called FloodNet that automatically requests the target page over and over. These events sometimes incorporated a search term, such that the search would return a phrase like “Transparency not found” in the University of California, Office of the President website, or “human rights not found” at the website of Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo. On one occasion, the US Department of Defense diverted a planned attack to a nonexistent website. The “virtual sit-ins” were done in solidarity with Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico.
In 2007 Dominguez also helped develop a phone app called the Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT) with artists Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardens, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Merhmand , which uses GPS technology to help immigrants find water stations in the Southern California desert and which also includes a poetry feature. It raises awareness about the number of people who die in the U.S.-Mexico border region and aims to rethink the ways in which “immigrants are always presented as less-than-human and certainly not part of a community which is establishing and inventing new forms of life.” TBT was subject to considerable controversy initiated by three Republican California congressmen; ultimately the University of California stated that TBT did not misuse research funds, but would not comment on whether it had broken any laws.
Currently, Dominguez is a Principal Investigator at CALIT 2, as well as, the Performative Nano-robotics Lab at SME (UCSD), and he is the Lead Researcher of the UCSD Center for Drone Policy and Ethics.