Andrew Roberts is a mexican artist and writer. He incorporates elements of gameplay, roleplay and worldbuilding into his multi-platform practice, recognizing in these mechanisms a cultural structure where consumption and production become one. Researching the material dimension of horror, Roberts’s digital animations, installations, sculptures and poetry treat colonial agents as possessed images and haunted spaces. He is primarily concerned with representational systems, military technology and the parasitic relationship between Mexico and the United States of America, often exploring the links between optics, warfare and entertainment.

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Protean Silicone Matter
2023


Protean Silicone Matter

Pequod Co., Art Basel Miami Beach

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Haunted Silicone Matter

Pequod Co., Art Basel Miami Beach

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Tank
2023


Tank

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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Necromancer
2022


Necromancer (Vanitas)

House of Chappaz, Barcelona

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Necromancer (Mining Mana)

House of Chappaz, Valencia

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A hourse on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter
2022


A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter

Best Practice, San Diego

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The Harvest
2021


The Harvest (Pilot Episode)

Collaboration with Mauricio Muñoz

Delaplane, San Francisco

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The Harvest

Collaboration with Mauricio Muñoz

Delaplane, San Francisco

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We are sorry to notify you that due to the end of the world...
2020


La Horda (The Horde)

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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CARGO

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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Undead

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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Isla, dinos tu nombre (Island, tell us your name)
2019


Isla, dinos tu nombre

Roca, Isla, Glaciar, Museo Jumex, Mexico City

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Towards Electromateriality
2018


Towards Electromateriality

Ficción y tiempo, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco

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Towards Electromateriality

Ficción y tiempo, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco

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Sunrise Corporation
2017


Brief History of the Sun

Centro Cultural Tijuana

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The Complex

Centro Cultural Tijuana

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Sunrise Corporation Headquarters

Centro Cultural Tijuana

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A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter
Best Practice, San Diego, California
01/08/22 — 02/12/22

A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter, Best Practice, installation view


Excerpt from A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter, 2022, two-channel 4K CGI video, color, sound, 12:00 min. 


In A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter (2022), Roberts approaches the complexities of intergenerational Mexico/United States border experiences as a series of collateral storylines rendered visible through computer-generated images (CGI). Half-Mexican from his mother’s side, half-American from his father’s side, these narratives are triggered by the artist’s family history and date back to his grandparents. If the first-person shooter point of view is a productive device for story-telling, can it also be a means to heal generational trauma? 

The two-channel video installation presents 3D models of two estates formerly owned by Roberts’s relatives, being consumed by fire. Narrated in English, the screen on the left tells the story of his paternal grandfather, US soldier Samuel Roberts, a combat aviator who participated in the Vietnam war. Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in 1975 Samuel set fire to his family home in San Diego. Even though the family managed to escape the flames, their property and all their belongings burned down to ashes. On the right screen, a voice in Spanish introduces the artist’s maternal grandfather. Pedro Barrios worked for Remington Arms in the 1960s, in an ammunition factory that produced the .223 cartridges used by US soldiers in Vietnam. He eventually established his own factory in Tijuana, manufacturing components for different machines, including military technology. After years of being the main source of income for his family, Pedro’s factory accidentally caught fire in the year 2000.

Left in a state of vulnerability and dispossession, both families carry the trauma generated by these ignition incidents. Activating a process to heal this inherited wound, the immersive, bilingual, interposed projections work as a sort of prolonged exposure therapy. Roberts has designed an apparatus to relive tragedy and treat the anxieties of his lineage.

In addition to acknowledging the corollaries of bloodline disgrace, the work outlines the interdependency of industrial relations between Mexico and the United States. The ammunition manufactured by Mexican labor supplied the US military complex, establishing a pernicious symbiosis rooted in warfare and precarity. In this sense, the artist’s genealogical narrative uncovers a long record of parasitic diplomacy.

Excerpt from a text by Paulina Ascencio Fuentes for CURA
A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter, Best Practice, installation view