TRES (Mexico City) is an art-based research collective, founded in 2009 by Ilana Boltvinik + Rodrigo Viñas.  Focused on exploring the implications of public space and garbage through artistic practices that concentrate on the methodological intertwining and dialogue with science, anthropology, and archaeology, among other disciplines. Of particular interest is the inquiry on the subject of garbage as a physical and conceptual residue that entails political, biological, and material implications. Garbage becomes a metaphor of all that is cast aside, forgotten. TRES research its capacity to store material, economic and symbolic information that can be used to elaborate individual or collective portraits of our society. 

TRES has worked with different qualities that shape garbage. Its mobility in A Cluster of Oblivion and Ubiquitous Trash – Hong Kong Edition; its spatial traits in Blind Spots; its symbolic value in An Informal Gaze; its aesthetics in the book Desechos Reservados; its intimacy in All the Shines is Gold; its permanence in Chicle y Pega; its scientific potential in Urotransfrontation DTC-UR013, and its hybrid qualities between organic(in)organic in Ubiquitous Trash – Australia Edition; amid others.

Boltvinik studied visual art at “La Esmeralda”, and her PhD in social sciences at UAM-C (Mexico City). She had a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (2000 – 2001). She was awarded a special honour in the XII Biennale of Photography (Mexico City), and currently holds the National System of Arts Grant (2018-2020). Viñas studied art theory at Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, and his postgraduate studies in visual arts at UNAM (Mexico City) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain). He was also part of the Seminar of Contemporary Photography, Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City).

TRES works have been shown in America, Europe and Asia. TRES represented Mexico in the 13th Biennale of La Havana (2019) and have presented in the Festival Transitio MX_05 Bio mediations; Amsterdam Global City #2: Mexico, WCA World Cinema (Netherlands), ViBGYOR International Film Festival (India); Metropolis Biennale (Denmark); and in the public art section of the XV Festival of Mexico City FMCH (Mexico City), among others. They have held residencies at Yaddo (USA), elgalpon.espacio (Lima), Casa Vecina (Mexico City), La Chambre Blanche (Quebec), among others. 

In 2015, Abandon Normal Devices commissioned TRES to produce Rough Fish, an interactive piece in the Bridgewater Canal (Manchester, UK) as part of their residency with Canal + River Trust.

Photo credit: Regina DeLuise