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Atelier Romo

Extended Studio is a program that explores the historical format of the “artist’s studio” as a model of collaborative exchange. It understands artistic practice and theoretical-aesthetic research on the basis of the link between collective experience and the assembly procedure. The program’s commitment lies in the fact that the critical analysis of these figures outlines new approaches and methodologies and will therefore contribute other cognitive corps and knowledge.
The program provides artists with the facilities required for the development of an integral production and assembly system that serves as a display mechanism or else operates under the notion of mutable exhibition.
Willy Kautz

Opening the page
by Violeta Solís
Knowing what you do not know is a sign of progress. Sócrates said it better. Heading towards knowledge always entails risks. Nevertheless, for over a year now, this same process has been undertaken in the streets of the Condesa neighborhood. What was once a house has now been turned into a workshop of knowledge. Throughout 2010 and much of 2009, Culiacán # 94 was a wonderful laboratory, a space where participants engaged in several trades such as carpentry, cooking, design and dressmaking and where they basically “made precision cuts in a wide variety of materials.”
Some of these cuts enabled the grandmother of New Wave, Agnes Varda, regarded as a pioneer of feminist movies, to become one of my current favorite directors. It also made it possible for the leading actress in a Franco-Italian science-fiction movie directed by Roger Vadim to become the most kitsch alter ego I have as a reference. It enabled me to understand the aesthetic nature of certain objects on the basis of mathematics and made it possible for these and Platonic solids to become my new highlight. Also thanks to these cuts, I have another meaning for the word “flag,” since I not only recognize it as a piece of cloth identifying a group of persons but I now relate it to any opaque material capable of blocking out the light, as moviemakers do. I discovered that I am not only good at cooking rice but also an excellent pasta cook and that thanks to my good relationship with miter joint saws, I could also earn a living by working in a carpenter’s shop. So far, Agnes Varda, Barbarella and the golden section are some of the entries in my notebook.
I turned up with the aim of improving my drawing techniques and soon found myself doing social and cultural anthropology with a group of young people who have taught me dozens of things, ranging from secret passageways through the World Wide Web to producing “Inter-Galactic Helmets” to holding a drill properly to discovering (perhaps with the same astonishment as when they invented the first lever) how to make not one but an “infinite number of levers.”
I learned that doing “tigers” involves rather more than just lying down on the ground next to your friends to digest your food.
I remembered that receiving should always be linked to reciprocity; I stole as a piece of good advice. It is always good to have a modest activity which, like a disinterested joker, takes us back to our origins, brings us back down to earth and reminds us positively that we are nothing.
Above all, I learnt that you can learn from everything. And just as when you are at school, what you are least likely to forget is what teachers, schoolmates and friends share without realizing it. These things, truths and data, dwell within us and we invariably believe in them and their value. A song, an anecdote, a quote. These small and sometimes enormous truths we experience live also virtually automatically within me.
Sometimes I would like to include a phrase worthy of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, as when Uncle Ben talks to Peter Parker about the responsibility of possessing a certain type of poker.
Learning a trade well can take a whole lifetime; I wonder what the advantage of learning a little of several might be.

The answer might lie in another encounter I had at the Atelier with the gyroscope: a mechanical object comprising a body with identical rotating parts that revolves around its axis of symmetry. It is a sort of top that was formerly used to reduce the amount of swaying in boats, originally also made of wood. In short, its gyroscopic effect means that stability is achieved on the basis of rotations.
A fretsaw is a portable, electric cutting tool. Used to make precision cuts in a wide variety of materials.
If I had to make a list of things I did not learn at school, I would begin by saying that I forgot or did not fully understand, until today, the meaning of the Law of Multiplication, according to which, “Changing the order of factors does not change the product.” Or all the implications of the invention of the lever, one of the first mechanisms created to multiply forces. You don’t learn any poetry there.