Matthew Flores, ‘Every Eruption of the Volcano Popocatépetl Since 2000’, 2015, Academy Art Museum

Flores explores the evolutionary relationship between technology, nature, and violence. This video is composed of images of the Popocatépetl volcano in Central Mexico, which are captured by a camera operated by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Popocatépetl has a complex cultural association and significance that dates back to pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. During Mexico’s evolution, the volcano has remained active and filled with explosive potential. These photographs document each eruption since 2000 with the final sequence showing the mountain’s activity on September 26, 2014, the same day that forty-three male university students from Mexico City disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero. The students had planned to protest the local government for unfair wage practices, but instead they were taken into custody by police and then transferred to local guerilla forces, which presumably murdered them. The systematic surveillance technology used by the university for the Popocatépetl volcano highlights the absence of surveillance by the Mexican government to protect the nation’s youth.

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist

"The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar"

Venue: Academy Art Museum, Easton (2015-2016)

About Matthew Flores