Ovnibus – Versatile Narrative and Interactive Object on the move in Mexico City
Ovnibus is a mobile library – and public laboratory of social and cultural projects – in a converted bus, roaming (occasionally) around Mexico City. It’s been based in the neighbourhood of Roma, currently behind Huerto Roma Verde, for 3 years, opening at regular hours to the public. Its name means ‘Versatile Narrative and Interactive Object’ — not a bad description of a once-abandoned bus now functioning as a kind of micro-cultural centre connected to many different interdisciplinary artistic projects.
The bus is currently managed by artist Rodrigo Cué, one of its creators, and is primarily about recuperating public space. It hosts various kinds of workshops, exhibitions, activities, talks and community meetings, and is offered as a free space to non-profits wanting to pursue their own cultural/academic/social projects. The library itself is a collection of books, sound and multimedia material, that you can look over in a bright and cosy reading lounge with geodesic dome roof.
Its activities are separated into the following categories: Cinestecia (all things related to film, video, expanded cinema and audiovisual production), Nomad (excursions, dérives, actions in public space), Node (a collection of specialised and independent books, audiovisual art, documentary, animation and other formats donated directly by the authors – Cué describes this as ‘some kind of glocal Ubuweb offline’. They are also in the process of building an archive of memories from the nieghbourood before the 1985 earthquake), RadioOvni (live performance and broadcasting), Educa (short workshops and non-institutional pedagogy), DATA (Development of Autodidactic Technological Applications, a hacking project), and OvniLab (an open workshop/office for non profit projects). This seems like a lot for one little bus!
Ovnibus recently celebrated its 3rd birthday, with a weekend of live music, talks and projections in and around the bus.