For the fifth iteration in the exhibition series "Beta Space," multi-media artist Victor Cartagena will explore issues related to migrant farm workers in Silicon Valley. Cartagena takes a particular interest in the history of sugar workers and the plights that migrant farmers face today. He will analyze outdated public policy that creates unnecessary paperwork and financial obstacles for migrant farm workers in a kinetic paper mural to span the full length of a gallery wall. Cartagena will position his carefully constructed, human-scale paper dolls in a choreographed "dance" of bureaucratic chaos. He will also work with local members of the United Farm Workers union on a series of "sugar masks" as a comment on the anonymity of farm labor. "Beta Space" encourages artistic risk taking and experimentation and invites artists to draw upon the rich and varied cultural, environmental, social, and technological landscape of Santa Clara County.
Victor Cartagena has created a kinetic, 80-foot-long mural, produced with the Salinas chapter of the United Farm Workers Foundation, founded by San Jose native and legendary activist Cesar Chavez—the mural considers the invisible labor of farm workers whose efforts feed countless populations across the United States, and the outmoded public policies that hinder migrant workers.