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).
The Yes Men are a group who use any means necessary to agree their way into the fortified compounds of commerce, and then smuggle out the stories of their undercover escapades to provide a public glimpse at the behind-the-scenes world of big business. The stories are often both shocking and hilarious. They have been called “the Jonathan Swift of the Jackass generation” by author Naomi Klein. The Yes Men have impersonated World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical Corporation, and Bush administration spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world. They do this (a) in order to demonstrate some of the mechanisms that keep bad people and ideas in power, and (b) because it’s absurdly fun. Their main goal is to focus attention on the dangers of economic policies that place the rights of capital before the needs of people and the environment.
Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and currently a resident of New York City, Chipaumire has been challenging stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art, and aesthetic for the past decade. She has studied dance in many parts of the world including Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa), Cuba, Jamaica and the U.S. A graduate of the University of Zimbabwe’s School of Law, Chipaumire holds an M.A. in Dance and M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance from Mills College (CA). Chipaumire is a 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts recipient and 2011 United States Artist Ford Fellow, and a two-time New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) Awardee. Her work has been supported by the MAP Fund, the Jerome Foundation, NYFA B.U.I.L.D., National Dance Project, NYSCA, The Joyce Theater Foundation with support from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Chipaumire has been an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University-Tempe, Bennington College, the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, and Barnard College.
Chris Kallmyer is an artist who makes sound with everyday objects to explore the processes, customs, and environments through which humans have altered landscape and place. He has presented work at the Walker Art Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Hammer Museum, the Getty Center, REDCAT, Machine Project, and other spaces in America and Europe. Chris lives in Los Angeles where he collaborates frequently with Machine Project, is a member of wild Up, and earned his MFA in music from the California Institute of the Arts.