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by Sesshu Foster


OSCAR ZETA ACOSTA (the man known as)

Our Cal State L.A. Chicano Studies professor Jamie Escalante returned from the University of Houston Panamerican Conference on the post-colonial Legacy and Lingering Whereabouts of Oscar Zeta Acosta, where he said the margaritas were smashing and new theories abounded as new socio-political alliances formed every millisecond in hotel rooms around the conference. Professor Escalante ensconced in our awareness the realization that there could be no better consultant on the Mystery than Oscar Zeta Acosta, civil rights attorney and cigar aficionado, acclaimed author of the classics, Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, and Revolt of the Cockroach People, though he was reported missing and presumed dead off the coast of Mazatlan in 1974. Alive or dead, who could be a more incisive and insightful spokesperson for the Mystery than someone who has peered over the edge and then disappeared? Tracking down someone whose whereabouts have been unknown for 30-plus years can be extremely difficult, not to mention discouraging, so I’d thank Liki Renteria, in particular, for heading up the search that recently located the man who answered the description, the man who insists that he is Oscar Zeta Acosta (OZA).

read the interview here:

The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest is a  Los Angeles based artists’ collective. Our magazine sits at the discursive juncture of fine art, media theory and anti-authoritarian activism.  We sculpt projects that challenge hegemonic representations (of knowledge, art, activism) or that spark situations for community-based social change or creation. We work collaboratively with individuals and collectives on several continents.

The Journal of Aesthetics and Protests may be a  rare critical machine in that while it publishes critical theory, it has no ties to any academic or cultural institution. In spirit and practice, it has as much in common with  as  it does with October. One of the first questions we ask when confronted by a proposal for a project or article is “what does this proposal mean to what we know about our lives here in the bohemian left of southern California and elswhere.”  Nonetheless, ours is not a vanity press, we see our project and projects like it filling up the vaccume left by the defunding of small er institutions, the increasing accademicization of  art education and the ensuing commodifacation and spectacularization of discourse.

Journal of Aesthetics and Protest:

Floricanto video:

April 2011