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Rubén Martínez
About Me:
A native of Los Angeles and the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, Rubén Martínez is a writer, performer and teacher. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University, and is an artist in residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. He is the author of: "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail, The New Americans and The Other Side: Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City and Beyond". His new book, "Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West" will be published in August, 2012. He hosted and co-wrote the feature-length documentary film, "When Worlds Collide," shot on location throughout Latin American and Spain, for national PBS.(http://www.pbs.org/ kcet/when-worlds-collide/). As a musician, he has collaborated with the likes of The Roches, Los Illegals and Concrete Blonde. He is the host of the VARIEDADES “performance salon” in Los Angeles, interdisciplinary shows that focus on topical themes. He has been active for over two decades in the spoken word and performance art scenes.
My KCET.org Activities
  • Entry
    Artistas de Los Ángeles viajan a la Ciudad de México para reunirse con sus homólogos y plantear una sencilla e impactante pregunta: ¿Cuál es el papel de la comunidad creativa en el contexto de la guerra del narco que ha cobrado un precio devastador en ambos lados de la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos?
  • Entry
    What is the role of the creative community in the context of the drug war that is taking such a horrific toll on both sides of the Mexican-American border?
  • Entry
    Noah Purifoy spent the final years of his life in Joshua Tree creating the monumental "Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture" made from tons of discarded materials.
  • Entry
    In the final installment, we come full circle, back to Fred Drake, the "gay cowboy rocker" who led us into the House of the Moon.
  • Entry
    In the penultimate excerpt, we remain beyond the buzz and speculation of the real estate boom of the 2000s, hanging with the scruffy bohemians that helped to pioneer the art colony, and at Al's Swinger, the working-class watering hole, where an elder's passing marks an important transition.
  • Entry
    Rubén returns to Al's Swinger, a hangout for Marines and the High Desert working class, which suddenly find themselves wondering about whether the new arrivals to the desert are a harbinger of gentrification and its discontents.
  • Entry
    Last week, Rubén visited the high art scene of the desert, which had a distant view of the Marine Corps training base north of Joshua Tree. In this installment, we get a close-up of the battlefield, via a young desert denizen's journey onto the California sand dunes that serve as a simulacrum of the Persian Gulf.
  • Entry
    In this week's installment of "House Of the Moon," the arrival of a renowned artist to the scene reveals the fault lines all the more intensely (and ironically).
  • Entry
    This weeks' excerpt of Rubén Martínez's upcoming release, DESERT AMERICA, the new desert denizens learn about their new home and the complex social geography set amid the iconic vistas. The more the newcomers explore the Mojave, the more they came to realize there were many deserts within the desert.
  • Entry
    We continue deeper into our desert journey, which describes the gradual gathering of personalities on a quest for spirit and art in the Mojave. It is a trip from the city to the country... from Hollywood to the High Desert... from one imaginary to another.
  • Entry
    Rubén Martínez tells the origin story of the thriving Joshua Tree art colony--profiling desert artist pioneers Fred Drake and Ted Quinn. The first installment of an excerpt from Martínez's new book, DESERT AMERICA.
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  • Entry
    Artistas de Los Ángeles viajan a la Ciudad de México para reunirse con sus homólogos y plantear una sencilla e impactante pregunta: ¿Cuál es el papel de la comunidad creativa en el contexto de la guerra del narco que ha cobrado un precio devastador en ambos lados de la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos?
  • Entry
    What is the role of the creative community in the context of the drug war that is taking such a horrific toll on both sides of the Mexican-American border?
  • Entry
    Noah Purifoy spent the final years of his life in Joshua Tree creating the monumental "Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture" made from tons of discarded materials.
  • Entry
    In the final installment, we come full circle, back to Fred Drake, the "gay cowboy rocker" who led us into the House of the Moon.
  • Entry
    In the penultimate excerpt, we remain beyond the buzz and speculation of the real estate boom of the 2000s, hanging with the scruffy bohemians that helped to pioneer the art colony, and at Al's Swinger, the working-class watering hole, where an elder's passing marks an important transition.
  • Entry
    Rubén returns to Al's Swinger, a hangout for Marines and the High Desert working class, which suddenly find themselves wondering about whether the new arrivals to the desert are a harbinger of gentrification and its discontents.
  • Entry
    Last week, Rubén visited the high art scene of the desert, which had a distant view of the Marine Corps training base north of Joshua Tree. In this installment, we get a close-up of the battlefield, via a young desert denizen's journey onto the California sand dunes that serve as a simulacrum of the Persian Gulf.
  • Entry
    In this week's installment of "House Of the Moon," the arrival of a renowned artist to the scene reveals the fault lines all the more intensely (and ironically).
  • Entry
    This weeks' excerpt of Rubén Martínez's upcoming release, DESERT AMERICA, the new desert denizens learn about their new home and the complex social geography set amid the iconic vistas. The more the newcomers explore the Mojave, the more they came to realize there were many deserts within the desert.
  • Entry
    We continue deeper into our desert journey, which describes the gradual gathering of personalities on a quest for spirit and art in the Mojave. It is a trip from the city to the country... from Hollywood to the High Desert... from one imaginary to another.