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KCET: Linking Metropolises, Linguistic and Geographic Connections in Los Angeles and Mexico City

A still of Taniel Morales's "Palabra Viva" explaining the word "pueblo." | Courtesy of the artist via KCET Artbound
Michelle Marie Robles Wallace

"Los Angeles and Mexico City are both sprawling metropolises that are the center for arts, culture and business but they are linked in more ways than this. For example, there is an ongoing cultural exchange between the two cities, collaboration between universities, and, with migration, an on-going Mexican influence on LA culture.

Taniel Morales takes these similarities and connections between the two cities a step further in his interactive art piece, "Palabra Viva (The Living Word)" at Talking To Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas at Otis College of Art and Design (September 17, 2017 through December 10, 2018), an exhibit that explores contemporary social art practices throughout the Americas.

While Morales was teaching a workshop on mixed-media radio and the creative community at Otis, he felt that the neighborhood he was in was similar to his neighborhood of Tlapan, in the southern part of Mexico City. At the same time, he began biking through Los Angeles, riding nearly 35 miles a day, always recording the routes he took. When he returned to Mexico City, he mapped out routes that were as close as possible to the ones he had ridden in Los Angeles, and rode those, noting the geographic similarities of the two cities." 

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Image: A still of Taniel Morales's "Palabra Viva" explaining the word "pueblo." | Courtesy of the artist via KCET Artbound