Under the Shade of a Paradise


My artworks and projects focus on ecological subjects, expanding the uses of technologies and capturing environments that escape our sight. These images are samples of two bodies of works. One of titled Paradis, 2018-2019, and the most recent one Dusk/Daybreak, 2020. The images depicted in Paradis make us—the viewers—reconsider ideas of “paradise” with the use of images derived from tropical vegetation that intersect and overlap. Each print is carefully crafted through an experimental digital printing process. In Dusk/Daybreak, there’s an exploration of the landscape through a nontraditional photographic medium. Each print is made through a layering digital printing process. The images make account for the daylight transitions that allow for the visible and the invisible, uncovering mysteries along the Caribbean coast.


I create large-scale audio and visual installations, experimental digital prints, sound arrangements in space, and videos to recreate spaces, memories, and experiences using imagery of natural spaces as a metaphor to understand the complex and interconnected realities we all live. The sources that generate the artworks are mostly research-based in a digital form or archival material that serve to create the installations themselves. Images of obscure natural spaces and elements that define our intimate relationship to spaces—storage containers, sounds, voices, and songs of proclamations in the void—become the aesthetics of the work. Through my artworks and practice I am constantly confronting geopolitical issues, ecology, technology, the act of speculation about the relations that we create to spaces and natural environments. I am always underlining a conceptual framework that comes from my experiences as a Caribbean colonial and post-colonial being as it is in dialogue with the rest of the world.


Three Poems on the Anniversary of Hurricane Maria

The Room I Cannot Enter

The game show host announces the doors to our cultura are

language and food        las puertas

son lenguaje y comida


y no tengo las llaves                 brain locked down when anyone speaks

Spanish too                  suddenly


In Puerto Rico, I want to crack myself open

an inside-out coconut, let español spill over my beloved island

where I learned to eat my plantains sweet


San Juan, Sabana Grande are where I see my face reflected back at me

in each shop, la playa, bars

near-perfect replica of my mother’s


In Panamá, when she was a child, our familia called her fea—

ugly girl, with our afroboricua smile


that is the mouth I want to know, the Spanish I stretch lips to reach



 my friends urge


no sé la palabra para try                but maybe

my mother kept the keys from me so each blade-

shaped word

could not cut through


forged me as Latina Jeanne D’Arc

her naked back a constellation of stab wounds



No Matter Where I Go, I Carry You With Me

On Sundays when the children’s bodies are dragged from the Rio



they are reborn


 yucca flowers, baptized in cool blue morning broken




is to run through the fence, barbed

wire laced in your gut,


no tetanus shot to back you up. As the doctor re-inoculates

me, decade since my last shot in the arm


 raw with hubris, one more defense




desert borders,

bare feet

 my choice


When I ask, how do I ready this womb          to deliver another,

she says,                    you know this means you can’t go home


Si, I reply, lo sé,

I know,

 there is not enough Spanish in this poem.



Ode To My Latina Machete Heart

If my torso is the transfomer toppled in Coamo by la tormenta

que comenzo todas las tormentas, pole splinters, sundered


lines wrapped around my neck, then my heart is the machete

mi hermano takes to the debris, hacks his way to power


once more. If my mouth is the cage closed on our stolen hijos

e hijas from El Paso to New York, then my tongue is the machete


struck to stone for one spark to ignite the final fire. If my feet

are the desert floor jagged with rock shards and sand scorch,


then my legs are the machete that have held mi madre up since San

Salvador, breaks through brush, past helicopter-light hunt.


If my arms are the closed gate between mi hermana and refuge, then

my hands are the machete, handle bashing down the lock.


This is how I bear this body forward, weapon honed by the white

man since I was una niña pequeña and now they will pay


homage to my machete heart, corazón de machete, your crimson

insurgent beats, those booted steps, you do not bleed, you burn—


your only stillness the song between, breath before the slash,

then the salvo, la fuerza,         when they broke through the front door,


you were already gone.