Christopher Ferreria

(Alaska, 1975)


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Chris Ferreria’s project, Some Kindly Monster, was inspired by the expressive car culture that defines much of Southern California, and in particular the communities of Southeast San Diego and National City. By bringing together two distinct car customizers who wouldn’t normally collaborate, Ferreria sought to create a monster vehicle that would embody his co-participants’ divergent aesthetics. In addition, Ferreria enlisted the contribution of three locally based DJs who created new recordings based on sampled field recordings taken from specific neighborhoods in San Diego. The audio pieces were played on a sound system installed in the vehicle while it navigated a series of vehicular routes throughout the city. The DJs also held impromptu sound events from August through November 2005 as part of inSite_05’s programming.

In a culture that revolves around the automobile, car customization can be understood as a complex public enactment of status, group affiliation, cross-culture identities, and individual or group expression. Whether Asian import, lowrider, or hot rod, the diverse car clubs of Southern California have clearly demarcated aesthetic traditions, historical narratives, and territories of belonging. In bringing together two car customizers from distinct car crew backgrounds—Asian import and hot rod—Ferreria’s monster truck becomes a collision zone, embodying how identity formation (and its expression through cultural forms) is always a continually renegotiated process.

Curators: Osvaldo Sánchez and Donna Conwell
Venue: East San Diego