MUTATING TIME was born from the idea of investigating past and/or current conflicts and deciphering new ways of remedying or creating scenarios where these problems were preventable. The project explores diverse concepts of utopia: what would our current world look like, had conflicts been avoided, and positive collaborations taken place instead?
GC endeavored to explore the rich cultures of the Zapotec Empire, or the Ben'ena'a - translating in the native language to 'people of the clouds' - in present day Oaxaca. We also explored their interaction with the Aztec Empire, prior to Spanish colonization.
The Ben’ena’a people, along with neighboring Mexica (Aztec), have been living with minor clashes with its neighbors and within its own empire and have advanced by way of developing trade in agriculture, stone masonry, production of tools, and their major export, natural dyes. The region is rich in Cochineal, Añil (indigo), Pericon (tarragon), Marush, and Huizache. Cochineal has long been used for textile dying, body paint and medicine by both the Ben’ena’a and Mexica. With the profits of trade and business, the Ben’ena’a have invested in the people and its future by way of creating technologically advanced textiles, which have also seen major interest from those near and far resulting in the region being the leader in wearable technology as well as smart textiles. The fibers of the plants used for medicine and food have been developed into a myriad of new textiles, combined with advanced technologies woven alongside the fibers. These advancements have pushed Meuhtoc, the predecessor of Silicon Valley and comprising of countless tech companies, and Ben’ena’a technology forward.