1/5/2016 4:08 PM
The Documents Project website launched on January 20, 2012 after ten years of quiet, behind-the-scenes work at the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA). It’s hard to believe that four years have passed since that momentous occasion when we initially made available 2,500 documents from Argentina, Mexico, and the American Midwest (University of Notre Dame) on our site. Since its 2012 public launch, the Documents Project website has had more than 325,000 visits from over 225,000 unique visitors, averaging nearly 7,000 visits per month from both new and returning users. As of December 2015, the site boasted 15,500 registered users who actively access materials, and create and share their own personal collections of documents culled from the site. Needless to say, these numbers demonstrate that in the short span of four years, the portal has had a transformational impact on the field of Latin American and Latino visual culture. We certainly hoped but were never fully prepared to grasp the extent to which the portal has become the principal source for research materials from this emergent field!
Over these past four years, the ICAA’s Houston-based team has processed and uploaded over 4,500 more documents from Latino USA, including Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela sent by an extensive network of Puerto Rican, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Brazilian scholars that includes: Carmen María Jaramillo and her team at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá; Ana Maria Belluzzo and researchers from FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo); researchers María Elena Huizi and Josefina Manrique, both based out of Banco Mercantil in Caracas; as well as Flavia Marichal Lugo at the UPR Museum in San Juan; and Yasmin Ramirez from New York City’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CUNY).
This network complements the work of the central team in Houston, which in its dimension as a research team, has recently added significant materials on Gyula Kosice’s Hydrospatial City (1948), Antonio Berni, GEGO, as well as documents from the Adolpho Leirner Archives. For much of these past four years Houston-based research has been conducted by María C. Gaztambide (Associate Director, ICAA), Beatriz Olivetti (Research and Digital Experiences Specialist), Nora A. Heymann-Nava (Copyrights Coordinator), María B. McGreger (Image and Web Content Specialist), as well as technical assistants Yvonne B. Zepeda and José Ángel Carrazco. Every one of the 7,000 (and counting) primary texts that are now available on our site reflect a fundamental spirit of camaraderie and a commitment to a team-based approach that, together, define the core values of the ICAA’s Documents Project.