Issue 28, September 19, 2011
Hatuey Ramos-Fermin (2008 Mentee, Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico)
“Transmit – Transit is a multimedia installation at “The (S) Files 2011.” One aspect of the piece is a video of interviews with Dominican cab drivers and dispatchers in the Bronx that is a short documentary about the difficulties of the trade. The video is shown in a monitor next to the main piece, which is a cut out roof of a real cab with speakers mounted on top of it. Through the speakers, the installation incorporates live radio transmissions from dispatch offices near the museum. Everything that you hear is actually happening right there at that very moment somewhere in the street outside the walls of the institution. Originally, the piece was exhibited in the Bronx so the frequencies were from dispatch offices there. For “The (S) Files,” I programmed the radio to catch the frequencies of the dispatch offices of taxi drivers near El Museo del Barrio”. – Hatuey Ramos-Fermin
Ramos-Fermin and his mentor, Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, met several times in the duration of NYFA’s 2008 Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists. Zúñiga helped Ramos-Fermin build his web portfolio, taught him basic website production skills, and edited Ramos-Fermin’s artist statement. The two of them attended lectures and art openings together. In 2010, Ramos-Fermin had his first solo show at Longwood Art Gallery Project Space in the Bronx. He invited Zúñiga to be the curator for that exhibition. Zúñiga was very involved and contributed an essay to be part of the exhibition catalog.
Here are Ramos-Fermin’s reflections on NYFA’s Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists:
“Ricardo taught me to get my portfolio organized, to create clear goals and to make my work more accessible for others to see. I really worked on my website, my artistic statement and updated everything (and keep doing it). That helped me to have an online presence to facilitate interaction with other people about my work. It also helped me to get invited to do different projects. Thanks to Ricardo’s guidance, my show in the Bronx was then selected to be part of “The (S) Files.”
“Since I just moved to New York City when I participated, it became instrumental to know other artists and creative people that already knew the city (Mentors) and also to share experiences with people in the same situation as me (Mentees). I established friendships with some mentees of my year and we have collaborated on projects after the program ended. The Mentoring Program helped me navigate the city and make meaningful, long term connections, collaborations and friendships.”