January 10, 1998 - February 20, 1998
A strange pick up truck that slices itself apart and hydraulically dances its own mechanical ballet has been sighted close to the 10 Freeway. Images of phallic creatures of the cosmic race drinking beer and in revolutionary outfits are done by abducted artisans in Tijuana. Thirty-nine people wear black Nike sneakers, crossing the gate to heaven in Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego. These and other extraordinary phenomena point to a vanguard deconstruction of modernism that asks the question: Can we consider Art the creation of aliens of exceptional ability?
Track 16 Gallery enters the fray on January 10, 1998 with Rubén Ortiz Torres' multi-media video installation Alien Toy, that features a morphing and exploding truck built by the Low Rider "radical bed dance" world champion, Salvador Chava Muñoz. Muñoz is a self-taught iconoclast who transformed a Nissan pick-up truck (in the lexicon of low riders) into a "Wicked Bed." The bed of the truck rises and spins, opening itself in four independent parts. The doors open out and spin furiously while the hood jumps off and twirls. The front of the truck separates itself from the back and drives around independently while the rest of the car "dances." Giving life to this aggressive and irrational machine, Muñoz is like some futuristic Dr. Frankenstein„appropriating technology to create a warped contrivance that signals an extra-ordinary future by literally running rampant in the streets.
A double entendre, Alien refers directly to notion of the "other" in America„where many consider folks south of the border as literally "out of this world." A hybrid of Low Rider and Pop cultures, Ortiz's Alien Toy is a cruising multimedia installation that rides through different contexts. Merging the car and the media in a representation machine, Alien Toy drives home the chaos and dystopia in B-movies, television, and sci-fi the cultural detritus of the post industrial age. Also on view will be Ortiz's altered toy cars which inspired the collaboration with Muñoz; a model of Ché Guevara's green Impala glimpsed in a Cuban Museum; drawings and sketches of Alien Toy and other projects; and "old" movie banners dealing directly with UFOs and aliens.