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ERIC Number: EJ880843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Los Atravesados: Guillermo Gomez-Pena's Ethno-Cyborgs
Rivera, Lysa
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v35 n1 p103-133 Spr 2010
This essay examines how Guillermo Gomez-Pena's ethno-cyborgs, performance personae that first appeared in his work in the mid-1990s, exploit and critique two overlapping cultural-political movements: the emergence of Internet technologies (cyberculture) and the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). After locating the conception of the ethno-cyborg following the 1994 production of "Temple of Confessions", I trace their development throughout Gomez-Pena's work in the 1990s, ending with the 1997 publication of "Friendly Cannibals". I argue that the ethno-cyborgs reveal and challenge a fundamental conflict that preoccupies Gomez-Pena, namely the co-existence of white nationalist discourse and globalization in a post-NAFTA U.S. society. The ethno-cyborgs' ability to exploit and critique (and even offer an alternative to) this paradox speaks to their relevance even today, in a post-9/11 U.S. society that styles itself "postrace." In order to counter this illusion, the ethno-cyborgs embody and enact the process of racial formation--the production and management of "racialized" others through representation--as it pertains to the Chicana/o subject. In doing so, the Chicano-centric ethno-cyborgs insist on recognizing the persistence, even proliferation of cultural borders that continue to marginalize, manage, and limit Chicana/o lived experience in a white hegemonic society.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: North American Free Trade Agreement