The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this interview, Harry Gamboa, Jr. talks to muralists, Gronk and Willie Herrón. Gamboa’s introduction describes the collaborations of Gronk and Herrón that began in 1972: the two East Los Angeles muralists met that year and started collaborating on painted murals, and later on performance-based “mural” media—portable murals, walking murals, and instant murals—as well as on radio, video, and film works. Gamboa states that Herrón, Gronk, and Patssi Valdez adopted the name ASCO in 1974 (but does not comment on his own participation as a founding member of the group). The interview describes ASCO’s street performances, Walking Mural, First Supper, Instant Mural, and Birds Wave Goodbye. Three of Gamboa’s photographs are printed in this text: portraits of Gronk, Herrón, and a photo of the artists and Patssi Valdez in Walking Mural.
Though presented as such, this interview can also be considered as a conceptual artwork by the interviewer (Gamboa) and interviewees (Gronk and Herrón), who were at the time collaborators and founding members of the conceptual art group, ASCO, along with Patssi Valdez. The interviewees’ responses are clearly playful and irreverent, following the logic of free association and wordplay, instead of a standard Q&A, question-and-answer format. ASCO, a visual and performance art group active in the 1970s and ‘80s Los Angeles, used Conceptual art to draw attention to the socioeconomic living conditions in East Los Angeles as well as the racist, negative portrayal of Chicanos in the media.