Research Statement

“creative practice itself can help illustrate educational processes and research into education” — Philippa Lyon

The mainstays of my research approach are the conceptual idea of borderlands and service practice. These principles underpin my interests in game design and animation. Graphic Design, my professional discipline and passion, is the framework that allows me to synergistically articulate the theoretical and practical aspects of my work.

My experience embodies what is known in border studies as borderlands and contact zones —the rich and diverse ecologies that emerge in relation to, and are sustained by, borders. As cultural analyst Mary Louise Pratt explains, borders are not only manifestations of place, but also the complex psychic terrain we inhabit. I am a product of these contact zones and my scholarship embodies the physical and psychological in-betweeness that derives from having experienced the realities of life in the Mexican-US border. My multicultural background shapes my perception of the world and undergird my transdisciplinary interests. I would say that borderlands and contact zones are for me, an area of theoretical transdisciplinary reflection and artistic practice, both deeply rooted and reflecting my life experiences.

I am drawn to think and act within the third space or gray areas that are the contact zones: my undergraduate education encompassed both psychology and art, while my graduate studies focused on board games and their anthropological and sociocultural impact. Nowadays, this approach is manifested through the interest in one of the most complex artistic media: animation. Board games and animation as fields of theoretical research and artistic practice are inherently and unabashedly transdisciplinary in nature.

Service practice—also known as social responsibility—underpins my exploration of social issues, which is reflected in the objects I create. In my board games, for example, I expose how the political tension between México and the United States has shaped the culture and social reality of the people living at both sides of the border. My work as game designer has given me the opportunity to participate in several prestigious national and international forums where I have focused on the potential of the “board-game-object” to be a tool to raise social awareness by addressing critical topics such as immigration, racism, illegal transit of merchandize, and political conflict. I am expecting to achieve the same success with my research in animation.