Tacometer

LED monitor, wood, acrylic, vinyl, raspberry pi, speakers, LED lights, 2016-2019.

This arcade is inspired on my experience at the ports of entry in United States and Mexico, where immigration officers randomly select travelers to inspect their belongings and their immigration officers. When the “Tacometer” is activated by pressing the red button, a digital chicken foot selects between the options: American, Immigrant, Nationalist and Terrorist. The animations show stereotypical images associated with Mexican food and culture. The song that underlines the work is  “La Bamba”, a traditional Mexican song. To this day this song is an anthem for immigration in the US. It combines rock and son jarocho, which has its origins in African rhythms, introduced to Mexico by African slaves brought during the colony. This Spanish song was the #1 hit in the United States in 1987. In Shelbyville, Tennessee in 2017, “La Bamba” was used by counter protesters during a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally. The song was amplified using a sound system that took over the demonstrators’ speeches.

The “Tacometer” seeks to expand the discussion on immigration and stereotypes through game and humor.