Idealized Cuban Family Structures

Maite Iribarren (College of Engineering, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design)

Idealized Cuban Family Structures paints a picture of the disconnect between legal policies and the complex personal situations they aim to model and control. I will make light of this disconnect by playfully drawing parallels between the 1975 Cuban Family Code and structural engineering, resulting in a series of cast steel sculptures and silk embroideries. Through conversations with my mother about family photos from 1950s Cuba, I will delineate our family structures, translate them into engineering terms, and perform structural analysis calculations on them, which will be CNC embroidered onto silk wall pieces. Then, I will playfully refer to the Code in creating designs to cast in steel, representing “fixed” Cuban family parts. The discord between calculations or steel parts and their claim to being a perfect family will suggest the absurdity of social engineering and the over-simplifications it entails.