Nearly two weeks ago, M and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a special performance that featured Verbobala in all of its, or at least in 2/3's of its theatrical wonder (2 of the 3 members were present). To become better acquainted with what they do, here's a little description from their website:
Verbobala Spoken Video is a bi-national video performance group based in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona. Of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the members include video artist Moisés Regla, a Mexican of French and Spanish decent, acclaimed media designer, Adam Cooper-Terán, a Chicano of Russian and Yaqui decent, and Border poet Logan Phillips, an American of Irish and Slavic decent. This diversity is also reflected in their artistic backgrounds, as each comes to the project with experience in distinct areas including slam poetry, underground hip-hop, new media, experimental linguistics, electro-acoustic music, contemporary ritual and video installation.
Logan Phillips, the principle wordsmith of the group, also has a new chapbook called Arroyo Ink, which can be found here.
Logan Phillips and Adam Cooper-Terán are dynamic performers. I must also say that they are dynamic and impassioned cats off the stage as well. Their performance was intelligent and engaging, highlighting, from the set I observed at least, border politiks and self/cultural identity, using words, sound/song, costume, and image to pop their artistic vision(s).
After the performance, I also had the chance to meet and chat with poet and college professor, Francisco J. Bustos, who was kind enough to offer us his book, Aquí Estamos...YA NOS VAMOS. (I've seen Francisco read his work several times around town and he knows how to bring it.) This collection also includes poetry and prose by Michael Cheno Wickert and artwork by Ricardo Islas.
Here's what Alurista wrote about the collection:
"esta ouvre de francisco b y cheno es un kaleidos cope fronterizo...and wit estrait up and a cross with out cruz y fiction cuentos homage 2 those that live and struggle on y al otro lado de lada witness palabras que valen sin pecado la tinta no sobra...falta! simón que yes! ahora somos los mosquiteros...una mosca parada en la pader?"
To Paul + Mandi,
letras y ritmos for all, por siempre!
How cool is that? It was a wonderful night of art and conversation.