Rubén Ortiz Torres

(Mexico, 1964)

For INSITE97 Rubén Ortiz Torres collaborated with Salvador “Chava” Muñoz to construct Alien Toy UCO (Unidentified Cruising Object) / La ranfla cosmica ORNI (Objeto rodante no identificado), a lowrider car that was converted into a dancing hydraulics wonder in the form of a Border Patrol vehicle. Chava, a world champion in radical bed dancing, reworked each section of the car to move and spin on its own set of hydraulics and arms. Ortiz Torres produced a film with alien imagery and clips of the car in action to accompany the installation. Ortiz Torres stated that the car was a product of cultural migration and exchange, a visual manifestation of the cultural hybridization in Southern California. The car and video were displayed in a garage in Barrio Logan, occasionally taking trips throughout California to participate in lowrider and exotic car shows. Alien Toyhas been seen in diverse venues over the years—from the grand patio of the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles to The Tonight Showwith Jay Leno.

Curators: Jessica Bradley, Olivier Debroise, Ivo Mesquita, and Sally Yard
Venue: 1901 Main Street, Barrio Logan

Rubén Ortiz Torres, Alien Toy UCO (Unidentified Cruising Object), INSITE97 (documentation).