mexico rural

fox mulder checks into a hotel in rural new mexico on the hunt for another mysterious x file

“name?” asks the woman at the front counter

“juan,” he replies, “juan tubeleve”


Looking East at Sunset by Colleen Gino
Central New Mexico

I am the daughter of immigrants

We aren’t who he says we are.

We came to this country to look for a better life, because opportunities in our home countries weren’t good. My dad was born in an adobe home in rural Mexico with no lights, air conditioning, or a door. My mom lived the first few years of her life in a house made of broken pieces of wood, cardboard, and glue. They were brought to America because there was nothing left for them in Mexico. No chances, no opportunities.

But in America, there were opportunities. For my dad’s family, there were open jobs for farmhands. For my mom’s family, jobs in canned food factories. Jobs that were quickly becoming unpopular as more and more Americans started going to college and moving up the status line. So my grandparents on both sides, and my parents, filled up the blue collar jobs.

For the first time, my parents could receive Christmas gifts. For the first time, my parents could afford food, clothes, and toys. For the first time, my parents got to experience electricity. For the first time, my parents could go to school, college.

These are things I grew up from birth, I’ve never known any other life. I’ve always lived happy and comfortably. But still my parents always remind me of the life they came from, and where my grandparents came from. America is not a perfect nation, but it offers so many blessings that most Americans take for granted. People around the world dream of those blessings, and that’s why they come.

Mr. Trump, don’t take our blessings away.


Pieper M1893 Revolving Carbine, Mexican contract.

Manufactured in Belgium for the Mexican Rurales, serial number 112.
9-shots cylinder, 8x50mmR Pieper caliber.

The Pieper revolving carbine, unlike any other of this kind - usually spelling their uselessness, used the same gas-seal system as the Nagant M1895 revolver designed in 1886. The 8mm cartridge’s brass was very long, encompassing the whole of the bullet, and the cylinder pushed it forward on firing, creating a sealed bridge with the barrel when it expended. This allowed the fitting of a suppressor on the handgun and the use of a front grip on the carbine.


Quarai Ruins by Colleen Ginoin New Mexico
Via Flickr:

Among the most peculiar of all electronic releases this year was American Drift by Elysia Crampton, an artist with roots in Bolivia, Mexico, California, and rural Virginia. All figure into the dense and cryptic mythology at play in an album that mixes drifting synths with lashing laser sounds, rumbling drums, snarling crunk samples, and spoken word that binds the personal with the geographical. The impressionistic swirl of it all is singular, to be sure, but Crampton shares allegiances with much else in her milieu. She works closely with Juliana Huxtable—she made the music for a recent performance of Huxtable’s at the estimable Museum of Modern Art—and she professes adulation of Total Freedom/Ashland Mines, who she sees as an envoy for so much going on in club culture now.

For Crampton, matters related to her transgender identity are mystical as much as material. “I can’t confront and explore my own trans-ness without touching on a bigger trans-ness: trans-humanity, trans-thing, trans-subject, trans-etc.,” she told me. “It’s a kind of education. Terms float as taglines and become embedded. But it’s neat how algorithms push you together with other artists too.”

Music, for her, allows and even creates space in which different states of being and becoming can be as accepted as any other. “In this language, a person can’t come to be because the language is so binary,” Crampton said. “Or maybe they can but it makes it that much harder. In music, you make a dimensional space where certain identities and certain ideas can be born and perhaps thrive. Music has always been that for me. When it plays, you can feel your chemistry changing. If it’s something you really like, it’s like gene methylation—you can feel a genetic change.”

The motion and progress implied in music of whatever kind—electronic music especially—makes a good analog for transition as she conceives of it too.

“Trans is becoming. Trans is the difference between the universe being frozen and the universe moving forward,” she said. “Do we still have the ability to imagine alternate futures for ourselves? Or have we all just become apocalyptic?”

Andy Battaglia. “Heavenly Bodies: How Electronic Music Transgressed Gender And Genre In 2015.″ NPR Music.