By Kelly Pau
One of the first oral contraceptives was created by Luis Miramontes in Mexico, a nation that’s home to a large number of innovative precedents. Evidence of climate change in the ozone layer, an electronic music synthesizer, virtual reality—all of these and more were first developed in Mexico, but many people in the Western World don’t perceive it as a nation with a high output of trailblazing inventions. “Oftentimes, we think of Mexico… as being on the receiving end of innovation and technology,” says multidisciplinary electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. “We almost speak of these countries as being colonized by a new wave of innovation, but what the research shows is that there is a lot of innovation [and] a lot of technology that emerges from Mexico and other countries like it.” These accomplishments form the background of his latest show, TECHS-MECHS: A Survey of Mexican Technological Culture, on now through 31 May at San Francisco’s Gray Area (where viewers receive a booklet listing these technologies as well).