Raspao / Snow Cone

Raspao(Snow Cone)
Piece for multiple components and electronics. Manned vehicle that captures, process and transmits video and sound data.

 
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View frontal cameraView through the crashed ice
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Raspao seller recording video with the cartVideo recording, frontal camera
Raspao (Snow cone) is a man-operated vehicle with a built-in system for video capturing that records live action clips, every time the “raspadero” (raspao seller) makes an ice cone. The handle of the ice-shaving machine triggers two cameras randomly one at a time. One camera shows a close-up of the exchange between customer and seller. The other gives a view of its surroundings and the road. Real time video is shown on one of the screens simultaneously while it is recording. Thereafter, these video recordings are automatically uploaded to the web site (www.raspao.net).The cart has two buttons that trigger functionality when the cart is not recording. The first one shows the documentation of the cart being constructed collaboratively between residents in The Bosque, a working class neighborhood in Cartagena. The second one shows previous recordings of people interacting with the piece.

On one side of the cart, a plasma TV shows documentation of a private performance I shot and made in Toronto, Canada. The performance deals with childhood memories. I paint on the snow using fuchsia syrup (reminiscences of Ice Cone or “Raspaos” and the arabesques floor tiles in her house in Cartagena. At the end, I lay down naked on the snow trying to impossibly recuperate my childhood memories growing up in Cartagena, Colombia, when I would buy and eat an ice cone laying down on the beautiful and cold tiled floor of my house, during heat waves.

Components:

1. The object-machine on the street, selling raspaos.

2. Video Intervention showing on a 42″ TV plasma mounted on the side of the vehicle.

3. Web page: www.raspao.net This site accommodates a documentation of the vehicle’s travels. As the cart travels from city to city, a new page is created on the website with their respective video recordings

4. Stickers of a silhouette of Gelis, resembling Michael Snow’s Walking Woman, This stickers are pasted on the ice cones and also they are pasted on different places around the city.


A Source of employment

The Raspao also serves as employment for the operator of the machine who receives a salary and gains profits from the sale of ice cones. It’s important that the operator of the cart is knowledgeable about the sales of ice cones, as well as has the ability to be friendly and open to conversing with his/her customers. Once a person is hired for the job, s/he is trained to operate the cart, and to make the ice cones. Additionally, s/he also learns the technical aspects of the cart including basic information about the software and hardware that is being used. S/he will also be trained on the basics of photography and video. I will also converse with the cart operator to discuss the conceptual aspects of this work. Consequently, the operated/seller will know how to operate the cart technically as well as conceptually.

Place of meeting and conversation

Traditionally, these carts have served as a point of meeting and reunion. Utilizing technical mediums such as a video camera, a microphone and electronic components, which facilitate listening and visualization, the cart’s purpose of generating conversation is reinforced. Since the video is reproduced in real time as it is being recorded, this piece functions as a mirror or creative space for the audience/customers to create their own narratives by interacting with the cameras. Thanks to the online component (raspao.net) this piece opens up the possibility for the public to revisit their narratives as well as to relate their stories to other ones on the site from their homes through the web.

Cameraperson

The ice cone seller is transformed into a cameraman/ cinematographer that captures the machine’s interaction with the public/actor around the cart. He/she selects what he is going to record during his travels on the streets. He/she also plays the role of director creating scenes and diverse exchanges between people while they converse, asking questions about the machine and camera or about the concept behind the piece.

Documentary origins

Raspao is also a piece that has a strong documentary base, which produces and archives audiovisual material. The building of Raspao has been documented from the moment that it was constructed. These videos reveal the transformation of the vehicle, the neighborhoods where it was made, as well as the people that collaborated in its construction. These videos have been transformed into a short documentary about the neighborhood. These videos can be accessed and triggered by pressing a button on the cart or through the web page. This material takes the viewer back to the cart’s humble origins, specialized work, and the conceptual collaboration under the direction of Luchine, the ice cone seller; Gabriel, the welder; Guillermo, the cart painter; and Luis, the electrician.

 

Mapping the city

Through his journey, the cart maps out the flow as well as the urban behaviors of the places where it travels to register and capture it.

Exhibitions:

42 Salón national de Artists de Colombia. 2011

Museo Naval, Museo de la Inquisición y Museo de Arte Moderno. Cartagena – Colombia

 

Raspao inició como una obra con video-proyecciones en la pared y el piso. La obra reproducía una intervención en Canadá en la que pinté baldosas moriscas en la nieve con kola de raspao, buscando en el paisaje invernal las memorias de mi niñez cuando la única forma de combatir el calor era acostarse en el piso frío de mi casa o comer un raspao. Desde ese entonces el proyecto ha evolucionado hasta el móvil actual que utiliza el carro tradicional del raspao como su objeto encapsulador. La construcción del carrito de Raspao me lleva a sus orígenes populares y al trabajo especializado y de colaboración conceptual bajo la guia y dirección de Luchín el raspadero; Gabriel el soldador; Guillermo, pintor de carteles y diseños de champeta y Luis el electricista. El carro de Raspao sigue funcionado como una fuente de trabajo y no sólo como un objeto estetizado; Luchín, recibe un salario y la ganancia de la venta de los raspaos.

A través de los recorridos del carro intento reconstruir fragmentos de memoria de la ciudad que dejé. Las rutas responden a recorridos propuestos por algunas personas que viven en Cartagena, entre ellos Luchín y por otras más que salieron de Colombia, país desde donde han migrado casi seis millones de habitantes.

El carro funciona como un pieza para múltiples componentes electrónicos programados usando open-frameworks, processing y coordinados a través de un micro-controlador Arduino. Usando dos cámaras y con la acción del movimiento de la manivela que raspa el hielo, Luchín nuestro raspadero se convierte camarógrafo de las inter-acciones con el publico-actor que rodea el carrito y consume raspao. Esta información se guarda en el disco duro del computador para su reproducción inmediata y para ser procesada y archivada en Raspao.net a la que se puede acceder en la galería o desde cualquier computador conectado a la red.

Vehículo tripulado que captura un vídeo cada vez que el “raspadero” (el vendedor de raspao) hace un cono de hielo. En el mango de la máquina hay unos dispositivos magneticos que activan dos camaras alternativamente una a la vez. Una se encuentra bajo la cuchilla de la maquina, donde cae el hielo y la otra, y la otro muestra el camino que recorre el carrito de raspaos y sus alrededores. A medida que los videos están siendo grabados por las camaras, se muestran en la pantalla en el carro y después de terminar los videos son automáticamente cargados en el sitio web: www.raspao.net

El carro tiene dos botones que activan la funcionalidad cuando el carro no está grabando:

– El primero muestra la documentación del proceso de construcción de la carrito, que se realizó en colaboración con la gente del barrio.

– El segundo muestra una serie de videos realizados en la colaboración entre el raspadero (camarógrafo) y yo, con las imágenes grabadas con el carrito de raspao.

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