Dorkbot SoCal 38

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Micha Cárdenas – Lecturer, Visual Arts Department, UCSD //
Artist/Researcher, Experimental Game Lab and b.a.n.g. lab

Chris Head – MFA Candidate UCSD // Artist/Researcher, Experimental
Game Lab and b.a.n.g. lab

Elle Mehrmand – MFA Candidate UCSD // Musician, Assembly of Mazes //
Artist/Researcher, b.a.n.g. lab


The Freephone is an art project that aims to provide people just deported from the US with a free phone call. To achieve this, a group of UCSD MFA students and graduates came together to present the phone at the Lui Velazquez gallery in Tijuana, just a few feet from the turnstiles where people who are deported are dropped off by the border patrol. The project is by Chris Head, Micha Cárdenas, Elle Mehrmand, Katherine Sweetman, Felipe Zuñiga and Camilo Ontiveros.

The Freephone is an effort to use new media performance art or performance with technology to make the experience that people who are deported from the US a little bit less difficult. To make the phone, the artists bought a non working payphone casing from, wired it to a new $10 phone from a store and hooked that up to an adapter which would allow the phone to make calls over the internet. Then, the phone was installed outside of the Lui Velazquez gallery and the artists invited people coming through the turnstiles at the border to make a free phone call.

D.V. Rogers


Leaving no trace, the Parkfield Interventional EQ Fieldwork (PIEQF) was a geologically interactive machine earthwork temporarily installed in the remote township of Parkfield, Central California during the summer of 2008. This time-sharing, performance earthwork merged together the micro-seismic resonance of geological time and the autonomous operation of a ready-made, modified machine, producing an immersive, digitally mapped 21st century machine earthwork action.

Owen Gerst

Owen Gerst is engaged in the process of architecture, but casts aside the title of architect. He is a representative of ideas, and draws a distinction between building and architecture. Building serves basic raw needs. Architecture is about something – an IDEA. It is the IDEA that, through the creative process, serves as the catalyst in a process of transformation – turning the very basic into something special, unique, and magnificent. The IDEA is the essence of architecture, and it is the IDEA that Gerst is interested in – the IDEA in all its forms and methods of representation.