Coco Cultures: The Raver's Altar

Schedule of Events

Sun 10/21 - Sun 11/4: Coco Cultures: The Raver’s Altar window installation at 13FOREST Gallery

Sun 10/28, 4-6 pm: Día de los Muertos - The Raver’s Altar opening reception and events throughout Capitol Square

Sun 11/4, 2-4 pm: Coco Cultures: The Raver’s Altar - artist talk with Auddie Rodriguez

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday of reverence for one's ancestors that dates back to the Aztec celebration of Mictēcacihuātl, Queen of the Underworld. Though Día de los Muertos originated in Mexico, people across the Americas have adopted and modified the tradition with their own unique cultural contributions. Each October Capitol Square brings Día de los Muertos back into focus with Latinx memory altars, food and live music. For this year's Día de los Muertos festival 13FOREST Gallery is pleased to highlight the work of artist and designer Auddie Rodriguez, who will install The Raver's Altar, part of her ongoing project Coco Cultures, in our window.

CocoRaverAltar_PromoImage.jpg
 
 The skater, the survivalist, the gamer, the collector, and the raver - the five egos of  Coco Cultures

The skater, the survivalist, the gamer, the collector, and the raver - the five egos of Coco Cultures

 

Coco Cultures is an appropriation of subcultural identities through the use of Auddie’s alter ego “Coco.” Through design branding, multi-media art production, photography and video, Coco shares the lifestyles, passions, and preoccupations of the five different subcultures she embodies. For Auddie, this multi-media presentation of Coco is a tool that interprets the ego of personal identity, while simultaneously appealing to the ego of creativity.

Auddie’s long-term, immersive project began with an exploration of five subcultural identities: the gamer, the collector, the skater, the survivalist, and the raver. For each identity Auddie, as Coco, had to acquire the knowledge, skills, and accoutrements necessary to become a member of that group. Coco manifests a gamer’s obsession with completionism, a collector’s meticulous hunt for Durand glassware, a skater’s repetitive practice of an Ollie, a survivalist’s conviction for TEOTWAWKI, a raver’s vigor for catching the moment when the beat drops, and places these crafts on the same level of importance as the obsession, meticulousness, practice and conviction that goes into the act of creating as an artist or designer.

 Coco the Raver’s prayer card

Coco the Raver’s prayer card

Auddie began Coco Cultures in her final year of the Graphic Design and Interactive Design program at The School of Visual Arts, approaching the project from the perspective of a designer and not an artist. For her thesis presentation of the project, her professor challenged her to find a way to put her project out into the world. Auddie decided to kill off one of Coco's iterations; the raver was her victim. As her final presentation, Auddie had an obituary printed in a newspaper for Coco the raver, and designed a traditional memorial prayer card.

For our Día de los Muertos window installation, Auddie is constructing an altar to commemorate the life of Coco's raver persona. The altar will play with the traditions of Día de los Muertos while incorporating elements specific to the raver subculture.

Speaking about the scope of her project, Auddie explains that "Coco Cultures is for everyone or for one person, it doesn’t have a deadline and will continue until my own death, it can take many shapes, it can live anywhere, it serves the narratives of individuals and their passions; because that is what subcultures do - they display the complex blooming of the human experience with tenacity."

About the Artist

Auddie  Rodriguez is an artist and designer currently based in Boston. Originally from New York City, she was raised in the tri-state area and all over New York State. Auddie graduated with an Associate's Degree in Graphic Design from Bronx Community College in 2010, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the School of Visual Arts in 2013.

As an artist, Auddie has sought to develop work through the lens of her upbringing and experiences. She uses her nickname, Auddie, to erase common first impressions of race and gender in her art and design work. She identifies, first and foremost, as a woman because she has spent most of her life balancing multiple socio-cultural identities. As a second generation Puerto Rican-American, Auddie grew up having turkey for Thanksgiving and pernil for Christmas. Coming out as a bisexual woman in the early 2000s, she has spent years switching between masculine and feminine demeanors.

Auddie plans to create future work that brings into view narratives often forgotten in art and design, such as the history of colonization and immigration of Puerto Ricans, closeted bisexuality, the intersectionality of cultural identities, and stories of substance abuse, among others. Auddie continues to push emotional risk-taking in order to reminisce, realize and say something in her work.

 Auddie as Coco the Raver

Auddie as Coco the Raver