The Gentleman, the mermaid, Mexican cinema: Loteria! - CODAworx

The Gentleman, the mermaid, Mexican cinema: Loteria!

Submitted by Tupac Martir

Client: British Council, XX

Location: London, UK

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $32,000

Project Team


Tupac Martir

Satore Studio


Kenji Ikenaga


This is an essay about how Mexican cinema began, as part of the Lumiere shows, and slowly attracted a large group of people in this art, found its way to generate stories about life in Mexico, and how, over the next 100 years, step by figures and moments, finding a different aesthetic, changing, but always with the archetypes of a nation.

This project began as a projection outside the Rich Mix in London for the Mexican film festival and then it progressed to the Film festival in Morelia, Mexico.


To represent Mexican cinema, the story that contains it; In the inside of the Rich Mix you could find films on contemporary Mexican cinema. The fact that it was projected in the street, meant that people had the opportunity to find out what was happening inside the festival space but in a more dynamic and digital manner.
The second time we showcased Loteria, was in a way in which it could be integrated as part of the film festival giving an audience the opportunity to observe that I was one of the participants but without costing them anything.
The integration of the design was key to these two events because not only did they represent my cultural background, which has made a big impact on my aesthetic as an artist, but also it allowed me to communicate to an audience with the method that I use the most, which is digital imagery. Even though I work with different kinds of live entertainment around the world, the environment of these film festival celebrated Mexican culture which blended perfectly with the concept of the project.


The piece was a collaboration between Mexican rock band Austin TV, visual artist Kenji Ikenaga and myself. The development of the piece was through communicating internationally via Skype, I wrote a script that contained the timings and story, in order to provide a scope of what would happen throughout the piece; This allowed Kenji to work on the visuals for the cards and Austin TV on the music, no one had to wait for the other to be done, but rather they worked in parallel, during the process I was in contact with them both at the same time, supervising and putting the show together.

At the Rich Mix it was a merge of digital visual arts within the concept of film, the incorporation of the piece itself with the music being streamed to the audience headphones. For the second part in Morelia, we exchanged the streaming for live performance and an audio installation of 150 musicians moving across the city, converging all together to make a grand band.

Additional Information

The element of surprise was one of the main components for this piece. One of the most challenging aspects of it was trying to coordinate the live music, there was a total of 150 musicians that had never played together before. A marching band, a school military band and Austin TV. For this performance Kenji had to re-do the video and Anthony O’Toole wrote the arrangement to the bands, which were marching from across the city of Morelia until meeting with Austin TV who were performing in front of a church were Loteria was being projected.