Name: Angel Alvarado
State/Provice Edited: Idaho
History with State/Province: My only connection to Idaho was the potato and the Gus Van Sant movie My Own Private Idaho, which has very little to do with the movie itself.
Favorite Artist: Robert Mapplethore, Felix Gonzalez-Torrez, Nick Knight, and Bjork (among many many others).
CDA: How did you come to be involved in the Colby Does America project?
AA: I was on my way home from a Valentine's Day party at an art gallery and was slightly (read: very) drunk and I was skimming through my Instagram when I saw that Colby was in Los Angeles, which is where I currently live. So I posted a photograph I had edited of him through my iPhone on Instagram and basically wrote "lol k so I'm drunk but Colby if you see this, let me take pictures of you please thank u" in the caption. A few days passed and then I saw that he sent me a direct message. I kind of lost my mind for a few seconds, but we got in contact and we ended up having a photo shoot a few days later. During the shoot itself, I expressed interested in editing one of the Colby Does America videos, so he put me in contact with his crew and that's basically how I was given the state of Idaho
CDA: How did you relationship with the state/province you worked on change while editing the footage?
AA: Idaho is actually really beautiful, and while you might night necessarily see it because of the editing style I chose to use in the video, the clips I got from the state were very pastoral and serene. Also found out (and wasn't surprised) that there was a Idaho Potato museum, so that was fun.
CDA: Would you describe the film you edited as art or porn? Why?
AA: I don't necessarily see a difference between art and porn with my own video, especially since my own understanding of art and pornography has become significantly blurred as I've gotten older. If you think about the usage of naked bodies in an art historical context, we see how the body (especially female) is portrayed through sex and chastity. For example, the visual manifestation of an ecstatic moment in various religious Baroque paintings and works of art have been alluded to being synonymous with being seen as an orgasm. Sex has been so ever-present in artwork and is still heavily explored by various contemporary visual artists like (but are not limited to) Jeff Koons and his work with his ex-wife La Cicciolina, Ron Athey, and the Black Spark's experimental pornography back in 2010/2011. With this is mind, I would classify my video as art, but have absolutely no problem with someone seeing it as pornography. What I'm more interested in is that the audience has an experience, either artistic, sexual, or other, with the work.
CDA: How do you explore your own personal fantasies (ie. through porn or other mediums)?
AA: I tend to be really methodical with exploring my own fantasies. If I get really interested in something, I tend to dive in and do as much research as I can until I cap out.
CDA: How would you describe your own art practice?
AA: My artistic practice at the moment is interested with my own associations and interpretations of queerness. A lot of my work revolves around the obscuring or removal of the body in order to speak about various associations of the male body like masculinity politics, body image, and the visual gaze. Through my work, I'm looking to explore what we, as an audience, project onto the body and what I, as the creator of the work, can do to play with or distort this point of view.