Flowed, Flow, and Flowing

My work is focused on the intersection of ecology and sovereignty and is inspired by conscious engagement with the land. For the past several years, my work explored Dallas's history and, most recently, pulled inspiration from reclaiming my experience of the land thru the original name of the Arkikosa River* (also known as the Trinity River). This project began in 2019 when local artist, Sara Cardona of Teatro Dallas, asked me to create a Future Monument to be featured at the MAC in Dallas. Welcome to the Great Arkikosa reoriented how we view waterways. In 2021, Dr. Lauren Cross curated New Stories: New Futures, and the work I created was rooted in observing how the Trinity River connects us to the past, present, and future as the spirit of the river becomes activated through imagery and sound. Each mark has a meditative quality to bring one closer to the land. This work also explores themes of personhood and autonomy of waterways.

Infographics of a Life is the visual representation of a journey and dual timeline of a Chicano/a and Mexican upbringing. Observing rivers over the years has led me to reflect on my ebb and flow. The visionary infographics of W.E.B. Du Bois were also inspiring as I considered how to make this timeline physical. After a flood, I harvested earth from the Trinity River. I sculpted my version of the infographic out of soil in two directions. Over time, the mud sculpture hardened into segmentation that reflected moments in time, people, and places. My work seeks to move beyond a linear journey. My experience with a family descended from practicing brujos, Mexican folk magic (curanderismo), and Catholicism implied a more forgiving path to interpreting time and storytelling.

Given that sensitivity to dual existences and beliefs, I wanted to offer the journey of the shadow self as a traveler with the main timeline of one's life, whether that is the baggage we carry or a hidden shadow self that was intentionally buried or suppressed. The beeswax bowl symbolizes the first contact with water. The deer horns are the physicality of bone and our innate kinship with the animal creature of blood and bone.

The sand on the right represents my family's pubelito in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. On the left is my life in the United States which culminates in a journey back to self, a trip to my Mexican Indigenous roots. In this iteration, the shadow self was connected to a homeland country I was excluded from, and I began to travel back in time to find meaning.

San Luis Potosi is an arid country with an agave the size of a Volkswagon Beetle. While approaching my father's pueblito by intuition, I collected sand, harvested Mesquite pods, and put my fingers in the soil to ascertain the history of the place. These dual paths collide in an explosion of color of saffron, turmeric, and rose petals, all representing a life unfolding in a pandemic. The shadow self links with a present moment and unites the past, present, and future as a journey back to self, a trip to a part of my authentic roots. I hope this work inspires someone to look at their shadow selves, unknown or known, visioned, and to embrace the journey of shadow and light in the ultimate space-time continuum.

* Per Alaina Tahlate of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, "Arkikosa" is actually a misspelling of "Akokisa" (or Orcoquisa), the name of an Atakapan-speaking tribe that lived along the lower Trinity and San Jacinto rivers in deep Southeast Texas.

Faz is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and writer who grew up between a declared superfund site and the mouth of the Trinity River in Dallas, Texas. Their studio practice of focus has involved relief printmaking, digital projections, and video to invite others to dream of more just realities. Deeply influenced by culture and their relationship with place, their multi-disciplinary practice creates spaces of resistance and affirmation through land reclamation and body autonomy. Faz has exhibited at Women & Their Work Gallery and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, among others. Their print Collective Care is included in the Prints & Photographs Division Online Catalog at the Library of Congress. Faz lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a current resident of the 2023 Changing Climate fellowship at Santa Fe Art Institute. Their work can be found at