Ortega, who earned his degree in philosophy, has often used video to explore the visual, mechanical, and literary qualities of space. Perhaps fittingly, the evolution of his career is directly linked to the exercise of global power. In the 1990s, following Mexico’s economic decline, which led to severe budget cuts in arts education, a young wave of artists was left, as the conceptualist
has written, with “no discussion or renewal of information about the language, discourses, or platforms of contemporary art in Mexico or abroad.” In order to study, debate, and, ultimately, exhibit artwork, they began to create their own, independent spaces, like the famed Temístocles 44, of which Ortega (along with Cruzvillegas, Daniel Guzmán, and
, among others) was an active member. In fact, Ortega explains that giving feedback to these artists while creating video documentation of their work was one of his early, foundational experiences of collaboration: “I became an interlocutor in their creative processes,” he says.