Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 31, 2012.

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La Luz is an ephemeral work that utilizes the sun and soda to create golden light at the most sacred Inca sun temple - Qorikancha.

This summer, I will be traveling to Cusco, Peru, to build a series of  installations at the Qorikancha and Santo Domingo Museum -- one of the most important ancient sites in the Andes, the Inca Temple of the Sun.

Completed in the 14th century, Qorikancha contained a sprawling courtyard filled with sculptures made entirely of gold: plants, animals and a massive disc that represented the sun. The walls were also covered in gold. When the sun struck this incredible room, dazzling golden light would be reflected everywhere. Unfortunately, little of the gold made it through the Conquest. The Spanish stripped the temple bare, melted the gold into ingots and shipped it off to Europe. Parts of Qorikancha were eventually torn down to make way for the church and convent of Santo Domingo. Today, the remaining Inca structures are some of the most sublime examples of ancient architecture in Peru.

For this project — titled La Luz — my plan is to create a series of works that pay tribute to the golden light that once illuminated Qorikancha. My materials will be simple: hundreds of bottles of Inca Kola, the bright yellow soda that is the popular throughout the country. Using two-liter bottles as bricks, I'll create a rotating series of architectural installations that will mimic the crumbling walls of ancient ruins. When the sun shines through these, it will create a blast of golden light. (See the video above to get the full effect.)

La Luz is scheduled to be on view throughout August. But the museum is a tiny Peruvian institution working with limited budgets. They will contribute $300 towards the cost of materials. But this doesn’t begin to cover all of the expenses associated with this project. Not only will I have to purchase hundreds and hundreds of bottles of Inca Kola, I have to cover all of my expenses for travel, room and board.

This is not cheap: the show has been scheduled for the peak of the high season and airfare is astronomical. (As it is, I'll be taking the 30-hour bus from Lima to Cusco because there's no way I could afford both domestic and international airfare.) In addition, Cusco is an expensive city, which means that the cost of daily living -- even though I'm the master of cheap lunch specials -- is going to be pricey. In addition, I have to remain in Cusco for the duration of the exhibit to pull apart and reinstall the piece in various locations around the site. This will happen roughly every three days. (Wish me luck: I'm going to be hauling hundreds of pounds of soda at more than 11,000 feet above sea level.)

All of this is why I'm asking for your help. This is a dream project for me. I find Peru and Peruvian history incredibly inspiring. Last year, I did an entire installation in a Williamsburg gallery that utilized Peruvian band posters (known as chicha posters) for a site-specific construction. For La Luz, I have spent the past year researching the history of the Qorikancha and its fate at the hands of the Spanish, reading history books, chronicles and examining art books. 

Ten bucks can help keep me and an assistant (I'm going to need help moving all that soda) in food for a day. Donations of more than $75 can help me chip away at the airfare. A few hundred bucks will not only help us with travel and lodging, it will help with the purchase of soda and any necessary lighting -- the most important aspect of the project!

I'm grateful for any and all support you might be able to give me, no matter how small. (I've got some good gifts listed at right). Please help make this project a reality!

VIDEO CREDITS & THANKS:

Free Music Archive: Novalima "Malato (Live @ KEXP)

Guillén Pérez

Quirksilver

Shout outs to Franck de las Mercedes, Pantheon Projects (Joyce & Daniel) and C-Monster.net for love & support!

Thank you!

REWARDS:

“¡Sin Esperanza ni temor!” limited edition print, 33.5 x 24 inches

“Amores Perros” limited edition print, 33.5 x 24 inches

El mejor de todos” limited edition print, 33.5 x 48 inches

"Dos2” (2011) collage on wood, 16 x 20 inches

“Sab11Set” (2011) collage on wood, 18 x 24 inches

“Chiclayo” (2011) collage on wood, 24 x 36 inches

“El Rosa” (2011) collage on wood, 36 x 36 inches

“Celura” (2011) collage on wood, 26.5 x 40.5 inches

PRESS:

Art Fag City

ArtNews

The Street Spot

FAQ

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    9 backers

    A sincere thank you for supporting La Luz and a shout out on Twitter. Every dollar helps fund another building block for the project. Cheers to you!

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    19 backers

    A sincere thank you for supporting La Luz; a personal thank you and shout out on Twitter, as well as on the project website and in the video documentation. Plus: a limited edition digital drawing e-mailed directly to you. You are awesome!

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    8 backers

    All of the thank yous listed above, the limited edition digital drawing, plus a La Luz sticker pack -- with hand-made sticks related to the project. Gracias, amigos!

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    11 backers

    The thank yous, the digital drawing, a La Luz sticker pack and an original 8 x 10 inch work on paper by the artist. (North & South American backers, please add $7 to cover shipping; anywhere else in the world, add $10.) Much love and thanks!

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    11 backers Limited (9 left of 20)

    A limited edition, hand-printed El Celso "Sin Esperanza ni temor!" (33.5 x 24 inches) chicha band poster from Peru -- created in the renowned Lima workshop of Fortunato Urcuhuaranga. Plus: you'll receive thank yous on Twitter, the project website and the video documentation. (North & South American backers, please add $7 to cover shipping; anywhere else in the world, add $10.) You are a-mazing!

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    7 backers Limited (8 left of 15)

    Two limited edition hand-printed El Celso posters from Peru (one each of: "Sin Esperanza ni temor!" & "Amores Perros," 33.5 x 24 inches each), along with a La Luz sticker pack, and all kinds of effusive thank yous on Twitter, the project website and the video documentation. (North & South American backers, please add $7 to cover shipping; anywhere else in the world, add $10.) You rock!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    The complete set of three limited edition hand-printed El Celso chicha band posters including: "Sin Esperanza ni temor!" & "Amores Perros" (33.5 x 24 inches) and the super-sized "El mejor de todos" (33.5 x 48 inches). Also, a La Luz sticker pack, the limited edition digital drawing, an 8x10 work on paper and personalized thank yous all over the web. Wowza!

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Copious thank yous (in the documentation video and online), a limited edition digital drawing, a sticker pack *and* a one-of-a-kind 16 x 20 inch chicha collage on wood. (Ready to hang! No framing needed!) You are a super-star!

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    The thank yous, the sticker pack, the limited edition digital drawing, an 8x10 work on paper, a hand-printed chicha poster of your choice, *plus* an original one-of-a-kind chicha collage on wood (either 26.5 x 40.5 inch or 36 x 36). These are ready to hang -- no framing required! You are the best of the best! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Like, wow!!! Consider yourself the proud owner of a bevy of thank yous, an original, one-of-a-kind digital drawing, a sticker pack, an 8x10 work on paper, the entire chicha poster limited edition series (3 pieces), a chicha collage on wood and a Plexiglas painting of your choosing. You will also receive three works documenting the project. Plus, if you live within driving distance, we'll make you a home-cooked Peruvian meal. We may also be inspired to bow in your presence.

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Funding period

- (32 days)