San Bernardino, Calif. -- On April 14, amongst other speakers, Fran Ilich was a keynote speaker at the on-campus event called Latin American Studies Conference.
Ilich, a media composer, artist, novelist, and a conceptual artist has begun working along the lines of activism, especially in the Chicano community. His rich understanding of counter culture spans from indigenous people of Mexico to the current state of Hacktivism in our current political climate.
Before speaking at the event a table was set up under the shadow of Wild Song, where Ilich set up the ancient Aztec board game, Patolli made by Comm 343 students, to play. Patolli is a bartering game, where players bid trinkets to move forward across the cross shaped board.
After playing Patolli, Ilich spoke to the audience about his involvement in politics, which began when he was a teenager. As his role in activism, specifically hacktivism, grew the more involved he became in helping others through alternate systems.
To bypass the inflation of the dollar he created his own bank. He runs his own business currently that sells coffee in Williamsburg with a bartering system, similar to the bartering system in the Patolli board game students played earlier that day.
The coffee he sells is farmed by indigenous workers in Mexico, The financial model connects financial bubbles and models of investment banking. When Ilich asked how he effectively makes money for the causes he supports he stated that, “Insurgent finance is the key.”
A personal interview with Fran Ilich revealed even more testament to his wisdom. As a college student, the interviewer felt compelled to ask Ilich how he copes with deadlines. Surprisingly, he says he copes with deadlines “poorly”.
The cause of his promptness is due to the efficiency and attitude of the institution he is working for. The poor attitude demonstrated in Ilich is shown on his performance on tasks at hand. In Ilich's favor with all due respect with other institutions, he is prompt with his deadlines and tasks.
Deadlines as described by Ilich, “A lot of things that are dealt through deadlines, you don’t really care about.” Whether that is a comfort or a discomfort to the procrastinating student remains to be seen.
After the visit to campus, Ilich left to continue working on his various projects. Producing a new documentary film called “Fran and Gabby,” a mutual project with his partner Gabby exhibiting their lives in terms of occupation, errands, and networking.