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The Department of History of Art & Architecture invites you to a talk by Dr. Claudia Zapata, the final talk in the HAA 2023 Lecture Series: Art in the Longue Durée.

Web3 is an aspirational and present technological shift and social movement to create a new internet architecture that emphasizes a decentralized web experience to improve democratization and ownership of data. The movement’s definable characteristics include increased integration of XR (extended reality), an umbrella term for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies; an economic transformation through decentralized finance (DeFi); and the experiential space of the “metaverse,” a real-time virtual territory of social, digital engagement. I examine the Latine/x and Chicanx contributions to this next digital chapter ranging from the XR innovator Nonny de la Peña, top-selling NFT generative artist Itzel Yard, and J. Balvin’s reggaetón metaverse experiences, among others. What kind of traditional art narrative disruption, unprecedented economic access, and activist lens can these new digital spaces provide for Latine/x and Chicanx artists and creators? I navigate a nascent but rapidly changing virtual environment to articulate the next chapter of art media and the ever-pressing need to analyze the impact of this digital expansion in Latine/x and Chicanx art history and visual culture.

About the speaker: Claudia E. Zapata (they/them) is a rising curator in the field of Latinx art, having recently served as a curatorial assistant on the landmark exhibition ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965-Now, curated by E. Carmen Ramos at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. From 2010 to 2014, they were the first curator of exhibitions and programs at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, where they mounted exhibitions on Sam Coronado, Arturo García Bustos, and José Guadalupe Posada. They are currently a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, where they hold a joint affiliation with the school’s departments of Art History and Chicana/o and Central American Studies. Zapata has recently been named the first associate curator of Latino Art at the Blanton Museum of Art, which is part of the University of Texas in Austin. Zapata is also a zine artist and co-founder of the Puro Chingón Collective. Their research interests include curatorial methodologies of identity-based exhibitions, Chicanx and Latinx art, digital humanities, BIPOC zines, and designer toys.

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