I’m very happy to be co-chairing a panel at this year’s Latin American Studies Association Conference (LASA 2016) with my colleague Niko Vicario. It’s titled Export Commodity Cultures: Designing Latin America. We were able to round up a great group of scholars and a fantastic respondent! Here’s our abstract, and you can find more details in the conference website here.
The economics and politics of monocultural production and export-led development have figured strongly in Latin American art and architecture. We consider these aesthetics and infrastructures, from the links between the cattle industry and architectural production in late-nineteenth century Argentina to the graphic design of oil magazines in Venezuela. Latin American “nature” became entangled in vast transnational networks, from the agrilogistics of the Caribbean sugar complex to the commodification of Andean airspace during the Cold War. Through these case studies, we reveal the links between raw materials and the cultural production of the region.