Pixels, Politics, and Play with Rafael Fajardo

June 10 - September 23, 2023

 Screenshot of "Crosser" by Rafael Fajardo

Colombian-American artist and educator Rafael Fajardo is the founding director of SWEAT, a loose collective of digital creatives who develop socially-conscious video games as a means to explore cultural identities and complex political perspectives. Crosser and La Migra are two such video games, representing opposing viewpoints on the evolving dynamics at the US-Mexico border, exhibited as a diptych. 

The hyper-pixelated retro imagery employed by Fajardo and SWEAT in these video games recalls early arcade graphics, invoking a sense of nostalgia and childlike naivete. By recontextualizing the migration “crisis” at the US-Mexico border through digital gaming and vintage aesthetics, Crosser and La Migra represent the humanity inherent to both sides of this ongoing socio-political conflict, making space for cross-cultural empathy through the simple act of play. 

Guest curated by Emilie Trice

Image: Screenshot of Crosser