Western attraction: theming the postcolonial dark ride

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Solís, Migueltzinta C.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Fine Arts
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Art
This project involves the conceptualization, design, construction and staging of -tzintlán, the world’s first postcolonial theme park. This support paper provides a broad understanding of the core concepts, theories, material considerations and historical background for the project. The paper hybridizes academic writing forms with second-person narrative, itself an immersive experience that transforms the paper into a ride. In this way the paper reflects its own content, demonstrating how story, narrative and thought are embodied, affective, sensory, and somatic experiences. This approach allows for a critical examination of theming, immersive technologies, and multi-layered spaces, for the purpose of developing decolonial, Indigenous/Chicanx futurist strategies for worldbuilding and self-conceptualizing. The paper addresses -tzintlán as a space-maker for the exhibiting of site-specific works, a blend between artistic and curatorial practice. The paper guides the reader through questions of fidelity, time, ephemeral, liminal, inverted, and subverted spaces as they pertain to the construction of -tzintlán. Attention is given to major influences on the thinking behind the park, including Disneyland and Aztlán, two multilayered territories which have shaped the artist’s own worldviews, imaginaries, and cultural spheres. It also provides examples of other art-centered carnivals and theme parks which have influenced -tzintlán. Details on the process of designing and creating -tzintlán are given, along with information on each component within the park.`
theme parks , immersion , imaginaries , Indigenous futurities , queer performance , liminal spaces , theming , dark rides , Aztlán , Nepantla , Chicanx worldbuilding , embodied narrative