Ten Years of Design and Mexican Politics

As a Mexican I have been strained to live in different parts of the world. One thing that I have noticed, is that there is there is a growing nationalistic appreciation for your country of origin every time you have to live abroad. Arguably, this phenomena takes place in the vast majority of immigrants of every single country, including Mexico. There is an intrinsic sense of belonging that we crave as humans, as members of the world.

Many of students at universities create a wide range of societies to convey to other people their particular convictions and/or interests. These can range from political, social, sports, or even cultural. In this case I will be focusing on the Mexican Society at the University of Southampton (MexSoc). This society was originally created (to my best understanding), to support Mexican and other spanish speaking students at the University, as well as promoting Mexican culture.

There has been a huge change in this society from the time I met them from the first time in 2006, until the last time I saw them in 2016. In addition, the Mexican society demographics changed throughout time. Nevertheless, as mentioned before, there is always a sense of belonging as a society, as Mexicans, as Latin-Americans and as students.

Among many of the different events that the MexSoc, many of them cultural, such as the Day of The Dead Altar, MexSoc Seminars, MexSoc Cinema and Political Discussions. In addition, there are also social events, such as the parties to celebrate some of the main Mexican holidays. Originally, I was not part of the University since I was teaching in another university. Therefore, the way I was able to collaborate with the MexSoc was through producing the designs for their events.

In a way, these designs describe the foot prints of what has been going on in Mexico.

mexsocposters

These posters will be described in chronological order.

posterlowresMay, 2014. Party Cinco de Mayo

During this time, the government had noticed that social network technologies could empower social discourse and demonstrations. For this reason, the government began to censor how the internet was going to be used in Mexico. Among many of the dramatic changes proposed, were the power to discontinue internet access and other telecommunication services whenever a ‘competent authority’ required so. This article 197 and 145 called for a full censorship of the Web, and there were even scenarios where demonstration where pages such as the 1DMX were taken down.

This poster depicted such censorship on the Web, a Web where Mexicans were not allowed to talk, hear or see anything that was nor previously approved by the government.

muertosNovember, 2014. Dia de Muertos

The assassination kidnap of the 43 students in the state of Iguala, Mexico had become a trending topic. Massacres in Mexico carried out by the government have been a recurrent strategy, that showcases the impunity and ineptitude of the government and public servants. Arguably, even Mexican academics tend to forget their (our) own history. There has been numerous mass killings in hands of the government such as the one in Tlatelolco, Atenco, San Fernando and Acteal. Ironically, people seem to have forgotten that the current president was the governor of Estado de Mexico (Atenco), where one of the most recent human rights violations took place. The data used for this poster represents only official government interventions.

This poster is a simple data visualisation of the total number of people killed in individual events. Each dead person is depicted with a skull and they are arranged together so it looks like a skull. The colours, and visuals of the poster emulates the papel picado technique used to ornate the altars in Mexico.

infras3May, 2013. Cinco de Mayo

When the current president of Mexico came in to power in December 2012, he already had a trajectory of abuse of power, corruption and negligence. It was a president, which arguably, risen into power thanks to the poorest 10% of the population, which at the same time is the core vote of his political party, PRI.

The emblematic president had already been called out as ignorant due to his interview at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, where he was not able to mention three books that he had read, and confusing the authors of some of the books that he ‘allegedly’ read. Those news became viral, but not at much as the video of him giving a presentation in english at the World Future’s Society in 2008. No wonder he used an interpreter at the White House when he met with Obama as the ‘elected president of Mexico’.

revoNovember, 2013. Revolution Party

During this time the Mexican congress approved the privatisation of Mexican oil. This billion worth business was applauded outside Mexico, where many of them indicated that this was a sign of hope. Beyond, the media influence of such topics, it was expected that transnational companies would begin to pay attention to such opening in the market. Companies such as Exxon, Chevron and Petrobras showed their interest in this neoliberal process.

This year’s poster depicts, yet again, that privatisation process that Mexicans seem to forget over and over again. Now in 2017, we can already see who are the main beneficiaries of such transactions. The poster shows an image of Villa, Zapata and Marcos to highlight that the revolution process is still yet ongoing and very present. In addition, there are two ornaments: an Aztec on the left and a Mayan on the right. This aimed to include the diverse ranges of cultures, where although there are over 20 different cultures, it acknowledges that Mexico is not just conformed by Aztec culture. For this reason, it was decided not to use the traditional eagle and include these indigenous icons. To remind the audience about the privatisation process, the background is made of a pattern of Pemex, and other transnational oil companies, such as Exxon and accompanied with the emblem of the European Union, which hosts many of the companies that thrive on developing economies.

posteNovember, 2011. Revolution Party

The privatisation of Mexico’s natural resources seem to be a topic that tends to come up over and over. In fact, this is a topic that has been under discussion since the 1990s (Salinas-Zedillo terms). The long battle to privatise PEMEX seemed to be fought by a semi-united left. In hindsight, this also showcases how quickly the left disappeared in the Mexican politics.

During this time PEMEX accounted for 10% of the export revenues of the country with a $80.6 billion in revenue. The current political party in power, PRI, needed to have the connection to liberalise PEMEX and they finally got it in this current term with Enrique Peña Nieto. It has been argued that this is a common strategy plan to privatise state companies; break them and then sell them, or in this case call for investors such as Halliburton.

This poster aimed to rise the awareness that the oil privatisation was an ongoing deal. The illustrations depict the fight for the Mexican oil. The background shows a carved print from WWII made by the Taller de Grafica Popular,  that calls for the removal of fascism and applauds the victory of US and GB over the Nazis. In addition, the background also displays a small high contrast image of Zapata, to remind us that we are still being overpowered by fascists ideologies through transnational companies.

cartelmexconmonoMay, 2010. Cinco de Mayo

For some reason, the MexSoc had already established the 5th of May as one of the established parties at the university. Mexicans do not really celebrate this date as much as Chicanos (Mexican Americans). The 5th of May celebrates the Battle of Puebla. When ex-president Benito Juarez came to power (1806-1872), he was left with a Mexico in financial ruin and owed money to Europe. Britain, Spain and France sent naval forces to Mexico, where negotiations were only agreed with Spain and Britain. France carried out the attack with 6,000 troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez. Juarez gathered only 2,000 troops, where many of them came from indigenous background. General Ignacio Zaragoza, a man born in Texas, came up with a victory in Puebla, where France reported over 500+ casualties. The Mexican army reported less than 100 deaths. This date was later picked up and made popular by Chicano activists in the 1960s in the United States. They used the analogy of the victory of the indigenous people over Europeans. Now, the Cinco de Mayo celebrations are very important for many Mexican-Americans and Latin-Americans-Americans (Latino Community) in the United States.

This poster aimed to reiterate that Mexicans do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. The poster depicts a dancing Mexican army soldier dancing and smiling. He is currently wearing a wrestler’s mask in a kitsch combination of modern and past. The design and colours of the poster merge the French and Mexican flag colours. The overall design and ornaments were based on Art Deco style to depict France’s heritage in Mexico. It is an attempt to bring Cinco de Mayo back to its roots.

But not all of it is bad news.

Throughout these years, Mexico has seen a large range of changes in their economic policies, political corruption, and thanks to the World Wide Web, we are able to gather more information and evidence from politicians. Overall, what I can personally recognise is the disappearance of the Mexican Left and the immense connections that new PRI generations of politicians bring under their arm. Nevertheless, it is not all gloom, there is a growing number of Mexican scientists (not me), who are becoming world leaders in their fields. Many of them in Mexico, and many of them in other parts of the world. But if one thing is clear, is that when Mexicans get together, good things happen.

 

 

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Trinker Media Wrestling Project (digiart)

TrinkerLogoWrestling Digital Art

TrinkerCam

Flash based mosaic generated video output

--> Click here <--

This interface uses any kind of video input which is recognized by the interface and then translated into a mosaic build from over 150 mask icons which act like pixels to generate the brand new image. This interface can be projected on a wall to be used as a wallpaper or can be displayed in any traditional monitor.

The interface contains over 160 wrestler masks icon and can be modified to increase the size of the mosaics.

Basically all you have to do is plug a camera into your computer and allow flash to access your camera.

To allow Flash access to the web cam, right-click on the interface and click on Settings.  On the bottom right side of the interface there is a web-cam icon, inside that menu you can pick the camera that you desire (your computer may have several pre-installed), and pick the USB Class Video.

Trinker//Particles

Flash based animated wallpapers

These interfaces were designed to be projected onto a wall. The bigger the better!

Flash allows to use vector based drawings which means there will be no pixelation on the elements. Each one of the wallpapers contains the typography and visual elements to communicate the character’s essence into the ambience.

Particles

--> Click here to view <--

Trinker//Mask-Cam

Flash based Augmented Reality

This interface is based on Augmented Reality technology. The main purpose is to present several mask designs on the basic templates. The process is very similar to interface6, where a marker has to be placed to load a 3D object. In this case the marker is placed embedded to the mask and the pattern used as the marker will be part of the design of the mask. The user wearing the mask will present that pattern to the video input, loading the design rendered on 3D on top of the mask and of the user. This will allow us to introduce the user to the same perspective that the wrestlers have from the “inside” the mask.

Augmented Reality

Trinker//Javier Pereda

Trinker Media Wrestling Project (branding)

TrinkerLogoBranding and Marketing

TrinkerToyPrint

Flash based character generator

--> Click here to view interface <--

This plastic toy is used as a template or “empty” wrestler which can be dressed up with a mask. The mask can be designed completely as an Adobe Air© interface. The interface allows the user to pick any face, nose or mouth design for the mask, along with the 3 main styles of masks. Once the mask has been designed, it can be printed on a traditional A4 printer in full colour. Ideally this interface can be marketed as a full product containing the TrinkerToy© and the software in a single package.

Twitter Aadobe Air© App

Flash based Twitter© Reader

--> Download here <--

This Adobe Air© application that allows the user to install this Twitter© reader on any computer. The interface retrieves the latest twits from the main Mexican Wrestling tweets on the web.

Mac/Pc Adobe Air© Twitter interface

Trinker//Cubeecraft Wrestlers

Paper wrestler models

These objects are vector based drawings.  The file can be shared to be printed to any size since vector based objects are resolution free.

All these character are free to download.  They can be printed on any A4 printer.

Go ahead an click on any of the characters to open the image and either save it or print it!

Atlantis.

This has been one of my favorite wrestlers and one of the most famous and sucsessful wrestlers in Mexico. I love mainly the design on his mask, very simplistic and balanced.

After being a career tecnico, Atlantis was changed to a rudo in 2005. It did not appear to be his idea or even the promotion’s idea, but the fans forcing a change. CMLL had been building up Atlantis, including weekly Seccion Azul features trumpeting his work with kids or focusing an award being given to Atlantis, to push him as the ultimate good guy. The build was the setup for a Dr.Wagner Jr./Atlantis mask match, the culmination of a long rivalry.
-LuchaWiki

cubecraft mistico by Trinker

Mistico

Mistico.

I picked Mistico because he is a very popular wrestler at the moment. Personally I don’t like him as much as other wrestlers, but he has a very good high flying movements. Another element that motivated me to pick him to do a CubeeCraft was the acutal style of the mask and the trousers. He uses a gold andwhite colour combination.

Part of a wrestling family, but portrayed as an orphan who learned the sport from mentor Fray Tormenta, Mistico debuted in CMLL in 2004. Mistico rose to the top of the promotion at a record pace, and was arguably the top star in the promotion a year later.
-LuchaWiki

tinieblasTinieblas.

This is one of the most mystical wrestlers in Mexico. Tinieblas is an extra terrestrial who is supposed to be blind, that is why his mask has a black cover on the front; he doesn’t have any eyes. He was also known as the Wise Giant.

From the 60s to the early 90s, there was a very popular magazine in Mexico called “Lucha Libre”, run by Valente Pérez (though it was renamed “Lucha Libre Mundial” when Benjamín Mora Jr. took over, and not coincidentially, the magazine didn’t last a lot with Mora in charge). LL also had a bodybuilding sister magazine called “Muscle Power”, whose editor also was Valente Pérez. Pérez, who was well liked and respected in the business and had a very good relationship with the Lutteroth family, had a special talent to come up with names and personalities for new luchadores, the most successful one being Mil Máscaras.
-LuchaWiki

sibeliusSibelius.

He is a wrestler from Mexico City. The concept of this CubeeCraft is based on the original design which is mainly covered with yellows and oranges. The tights have this S with a tribal style. It seem to be the same S from the Brazilian band Sepultura. In real life Sibelius is a musician, that is why he picked the name of the famous German composer.

Trinker Media Wrestling Project. (photo)

TrinkerLogoPhotography

Photo journals

Arena México, México City

This is one of the most popular and relevant arenas in the world, fully dedicated to Wrestling.

These collections open a window into the main events in Mexican wrestling, introducing us to the sportsmen that have established the foundations of this sport.

Arena Mexico

TrinkerMedia//JavierPereda

Arena San Juan, Cd. Nezahualcóyotl

Ciudad Netzahualcóyotl is a “barrio” located within the northeast metropolitan area Mexico City, it is considered to be one of the toughest districts of the city, but it is also known by its wrestling tradition.

Taking a glance into this arena we can feel the genuine love for this sport and how its local audience has built a true tradition on Mexican Wrestling for the last eighty years.

Arena Aan Juan

Trinker//JavierPereda

Roundhouse, London

Camden, 2009. Several Mexican wrestlers started a world tour called “Todo por el Todo” gathering some of the biggest names in Mexican wrestling and challenging them to loose the mask on a bet match. This album is the recollection of those events.

Camden, London

Trinker//JavierPereda

New concept photography & Illustration

Taking off from the main wrestling culture in Mexico, the album evolves from new concept photography, adding to it visual communication values in order to  integrate them to different audiences.

On this collection, objects like photography, illustration, desktop wallpapers, mobile phone wallpapers and mask studios can be found, all of them going through the scrutiny of graphical communication languages.

Concept

Trinker//JavierPereda

TrinkerMedia Wrestling Project (d)

TrinkerLogoInteractive Didactic Media.

Interface 01 – The Mask Spinner

Flash based mask catalog

Originally this interface was developed to define the main styles on wrestling masks. After defining the main styles, a basic image identity was developed for each one of the wrestlers presented.

The interface presents a “template” wrestler which appears with his tights on gray and without any mask. I have chosen 20 different masks. These 20 masks have been separated into their styles. There are three main styles. The traditional closed design and there are seven masks into this category. The second style is the open mouth style having three masks in this category. The last one is the japanese style, in which the nose and the mouth are uncovered. In this category there are two.

The masks spin in a circular way around the wrestler. The masks spin by using the left and right keys. There are three main rollover icons on the bottom defining the three main styles of the masks, when they are hovered, the mask spins to the front of the wrestler showing the user the style. When a mask is clicked, the masks spin until the mask that was clicked is placed in front of the face of the wrestler and the background with the visual mood of the wrestler is loaded on the background and the basic colour scheme is loaded into the main “template” character.

--> Click here to view interface <--

Interface 02 – VR Masks

Flash based virtual reality interfaces

Every wrestler has designed their mask with specific detail that can not be appreciated from a single image. That is why using virtual reality objects we can visualize entirely all the sides of the wrestler’s mask.

These elements allows the user to interact in order for him to appreciate better the masks. By default the interface presents an automatic rotation which can be turned off simply by pressing the space bar. The main interactivity works with a simple mouse, to spin the mask in a 360º rotation.

Since this application is Flash based, it can run on any computer, on the web, on mobile phones (except iPhone – currently udner development) and allows to interact with a touch-screen monitor to enhance the user’s experience.

Each interface contains the branding of each one of the characters.

CubeeCraft©//TrinkerMedia©

Cubeecraft Wrestlers.

I have been developing this project of how the wrestling masks are developed; mainly I have been focusing on Mexican wrestling masks.

At the moment one of my many outputs are these CubeeCraft pieces.

Atlantis.

This has been one of my favorite wrestlers and one of the most famous and sucsessful wrestlers in Mexico.  I love mainly the design on his mask, very simplistic and balanced.

After being a career tecnico, Atlantis was changed to a rudo in 2005. It did not appear to be his idea or even the promotion’s idea, but the fans forcing a change. CMLL had been building up Atlantis, including weekly Seccion Azul features trumpeting his work with kids or focusing an award being given to Atlantis, to push him as the ultimate good guy. The build was the setup for a Dr.Wagner Jr./Atlantis mask match, the culmination of a long rivalry.
-LuchaWiki

cubecraft mistico by Trinker

Mistico

Mistico.

I picked Mistico because he is a very popular wrestler at the moment.  Personally I don’t like him as much as other wrestlers, but he has a very good high flying movements. Another element that motivated me to pick him to do a CubeeCraft was the acutal style of the mask and the trousers.  He uses a gold andwhite colour combination.

Part of a wrestling family, but portrayed as an orphan who learned the sport from mentor Fray Tormenta, Mistico debuted in CMLL in 2004. Mistico rose to the top of the promotion at a record pace, and was arguably the top star in the promotion a year later.
-LuchaWiki

tinieblasTinieblas.

This is one of the most mystical wrestlers in Mexico.  Tinieblas is an extra terrestrial who is supposed to be blind, that is why his mask has a black cover on the front; he doesn’t have any eyes.  He was also known as the Wise Giant.

From the 60s to the early 90s, there was a very popular magazine in Mexico called “Lucha Libre”, run by Valente Pérez (though it was renamed “Lucha Libre Mundial” when Benjamín Mora Jr. took over, and not coincidentially, the magazine didn’t last a lot with Mora in charge). LL also had a bodybuilding sister magazine called “Muscle Power”, whose editor also was Valente Pérez. Pérez, who was well liked and respected in the business and had a very good relationship with the Lutteroth family, had a special talent to come up with names and personalities for new luchadores, the most successful one being Mil Máscaras.
-LuchaWiki

sibeliusSibelius.

He is a wrestler from Mexico City.  The concept of this CubeeCraft is based on the original design which is mainly covered with yellows and oranges.  The tights have this S with a tribal style.  It seem to be the same S from the Brazilian band Sepultura.  In real life Sibelius is a musician, that is why he picked the name of the famous German composer.