Screenshot from "System for a Feast" by Tristan Espinoza

Tristan Espinoza

System for a Feast

Media: single channel HD video with sound

Date: 2021

System for a Feast is an attempt at recreating a home video of a family trip to the buffet in the early 2000s. I watched these videos while thinking about stories my parents told of their own material precarity and the ways it was brought on by colonial violence. At the same time, it seemed like the sentimental vernacular of the home video made no space for, or purposefully obscured, that history of violence. So I translated the memory into this piece as an intervention. How can I re-perform the gestures of consumption that were in the original video? How would heightening the banality of this narrative surface an alternative history? My hope in lingering with these questions was to establish a new personal mythology, one that displaced itself from nostalgia.

Screenshot from System of a Feast
A 3D model of Tristan as a child reaching into a buffet tray. Hundreds of Tristans do the same thing in the background.
Screenshot from System for a Feast
A line of golden Tristan models facing to the right, one of them in the center of the image and backlit by a teal green pillar.
Screenshot from System for a Feast
A long table with two rows of Tristans at either side, feasting.
Excerpt from home video.
A rotating gif of an empty buffet station.

Tristan Espinoza

Tristan Espinoza (he/they) is an artist and organizer based in Los Angeles. He uses his practice to reflect on home and the residues of trauma, hegemony, and epistemology that are carried by colonized bodies.

Espinoza holds a BFA in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also co-organizes Tiny Tech Zines (TTZ), a tech zine fair that focuses on publications dealing with technology.