Javier Arbona-Homar will present selections from a project on racialized exposures to explosive risk and suspicion. The project is based on research carried out through field studies in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially landscape evidence reflecting traces of racialized lives shaped by explosivity, from Alfred Nobel’s catastrophic nitroglycerine detonation in 1866 to the bombardment of a suburban home adjacent to a police bomb disposal and practice range by the hit television show Mythbusters in 2011. The text to be presented is planned as part of experimental scholarship to offer a counter-atlas toward a post-combustion future.
Javier is an artist and practitioner, and co-founder of the Demilit collective in 2010 that has produced works for biennials, exhibitions, and publications. He is currently an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in the departments of American Studies and Design at the University of California - Davis with affiliations in graduate groups in Geography, Cultural Studies, and Community Development. He co-directs a research group on Critical Military, Security, and Policing Studies. His work is forthcoming in the Routledge Handbook of Architecture and Spatial Politics, and also published in Landscape Journal, the Harvard Design Magazine, Volume, and various edited collections.
Oakport Street onramp to the Nimitz Freeway, Oakland CA. In 1898, a standoff between Alameda county deputies and a migrant Chinese worker in a fuse factory culminated in an explosion that took several lives and remains unresolved and marked off by the underside of the freeway (itself another example of an infrastructure of combusting chemicals). Photo by author (2021).