Santa Ana, CA
Victor Payan is a writer, humorist, and artist whose work promotes social justice, community empowerment, and tolerance through engaging and playful public performances that educate, enlighten, empower, and entertain. He is Founding Director of Media Arts Santa Ana, and the co-founder of OC Film Fiesta, a multicultural film festival. An award-winning cultural critic, Payan also founded LAFTA: The Latin American Free Thought Agreement, and Keep on Crossin’ Project, a multifaceted manifesto on immigration and borders of mind, body, and spirit. Together with Sandra “Pocha” Peña, he created Aztec Gold, a series of irreverent transdisciplinary interventions that utilize the iconography of Mexican wrestling to create cathartic “counter-absurdity” campaigns that inspire catalytic change. He is co-founder of the Taco Shop Poets and toured throughout California as an acoustic taco shop troubadour in 1999. Payan directed the rock and roll documentary Tijuana: La Esquina del Mundo, and his work has been featured in exhibitions, screenings, and performances at the MCA San Diego, the High Museum of Art, and other venues nationally. In 2014 he was invited to be part of a Berlin exhibit commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He participated in a performance with Guillermo Gomez Peña’s Pocha Nostra as part of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ Encuentro in Montreal, where he also culture-hacked the poutine burrito, which is now a Canadian culinary staple.
Dreamocracy in America
Victor Payan is an interdisciplinary artist who uses humor to create engaging and playful public experiences to promote social justice, community empowerment, and tolerance.Artist Bio
Pocha Peña is an interdisciplinary artist and writer based in California and Texas who focuses on deep examinations of local lore, intercultural mythologies and arcane historical movements.Artist Bio
Dreamocracy in America (Nuevo DIA) is a take-no-prisoners time-travelling transdisciplinary tour of America that picks up Alexis de Tocqueville’s journey into the American character where he left off, and completes his epic project by examining immigrant and refugee detention centers, Native reservations, and communities west of the 1831 US border.
San Antonio, TX
Sandra “Pocha” Peña is an award-winning filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist who grew up among the artisans and performers of Disneyland, California. Being Chicana and Indigenous in the heart of conservative Orange County cultivated her skill at subverting pop culture imagery. She shot and aired her first MTV music video for punk legends The Vandals in the late 1980’s, followed by a stint in Spain studying video art under Bill Viola and Nam June Paik. Returning to the US in the 1990’s, Peña completed two degrees at UCSD in Visual Arts & Sociology, soon exhibiting her video art in museums and film festivals worldwide, and adopting the moniker “Pocha Peña” for all her screen credits. Peña attended the MFA program at UCLA’s School of Film & TV, followed by a decade working on Spanish-language game shows, variedades, and promos for Spanish-language networks Univision, Telemundo and Fox Latin America. Concurrent to her production work and video art, Peña frequently writes, publishing her seminal “Pocha Manifesto” in Jump Cut film journal, Chon Noriega’s Chicanos & Film and MacKenzie’s Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures anthology, and penned articles on films, art car shows, Day of the Dead for La Opinion, Tu Ciudad, OC Register and Chicano Art Magazine. Peña is a co-creator of Aztec Gold, a series of videos, live and graphic treatments of Lucha Libre, a co-recipient of the 2010 Warhol Foundation supported IdeaFund, founder of a multi-cultural film festival and co-founder of a media arts non-profit in her native Southern California. She also helped establish the City of Santa Ana’s first Arts Commission, served as its Chair and ran for City Council in 2018. Currently, Peña is focusing on her Writing & Video Art in deep examinations of local lore, intercultural mythologies and the arcane structure of America’s Democracy.