Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Bert Rodriguez and Olivia Ramos.


Bert Rodriguez

Before The Story Ends, 2016

Instagram Screenshot


RAMOS:  ‪Hi Bert  ‬‬


RODRIGUEZ:  ‪hi.  is this you?‬‬


this is me‬‬




ha ok‬‬


‪thank you for joining me‬‬


of course.  sorry we had some hicups‬‬


‪happens all the time‬‬


it's easy to postpone in the virtual world


yes.  well, good news is everything is virtual anyways so this is just one layer deeper in‬‬


‪everything is virtual?‬‬


how so?


well, nothing is real.‬‬


what is your definition of real?‬‬


‪I might be in the middle of defining that.‬‬


not sure.


I think nothing might be real.


which i guess means everything is or something


who the fuck knows.


actually nothing is the realist thing I can think of.


because there is no nothing.


what are you?‬‬


we're really getting right into it huh?‬‬


‪right into it is right‬‬


‪I'm just an idea.  learning itself.‬‬


‪how was the idea of you manifested?‬‬


or rather what was the origin?


you mean before I learned I was an idea?‬‬


or currently?


‪or before you became an idea‬‬


oh ok.‬‬




you had to already be to learn that you were an idea‬‬


what came before that?


besides the obvious which is my parents having the idea and then boning and making me a "thing"...‬‬


well that's the rub right?


in order to be, you have to know


or you never knew you were or are‬‬


I mean don't spend much time thinking about themselves, they just are


‪that would be it if there was something - but there is nothing‬‬‪


well, yeah, everything is the same as nothing‬‬


except ideas‬‬


those are different as far as i've gathered


because you are an idea


not even that actually, because if everything is everything even an idea,  it cannot know it exists‬‬


it has no comparison to itself.


so even if I were the idea of everything, I wouldn't know because I would be everything.


what if you were a little piece of everything‬‬


and only had a little piece of knowing




thats how I know, at least I think so, haha.


‪that makes sense‬‬


so you told me today was a very special day


well, actually, i got the dates wrong.  I thought we were initially speaking next Tues for some reason. which is my birthday, which is also my first day as Norberto, sans Bert.‬‬


and there are 4 days left according to your instagram‬‬


‪so actually, today is just Thursday.  nothing too special about Thursdays.‬‬


yes. 4 days left for Bert.


which is me currently.


‪what happens in 4 days‬‬


it is your birthday


Well, Bert, who is me right now, ceases to exist.‬‬


‪how so?‬‬


and why then?


ok so, Bert, who has been living this life for the past 35 or so years is going to be leaving and Norberto, which is my birth name will emerge as the true director of my life.‬‬


I, (Bert) have always had this feeling that I was being watched or cared for, or looked after, etc. Like a guardian angel of sorts.




in the past year, that feeling has grown.


what does that have to do with changing the name?‬‬


well, Norberto is my actual name.  But, I've never used it publicly since growing up it was slightly embarrassing and frustrating as no one could ever pronounce it.


So I just adopted Bert because it was easier and more accessible to everyone around me.  Even my family who gave me the name in the first place.‬‬


I mean though, the name is just a signifier for a much larger, more complex transformation that's going on inside of me.


the name doesn't really mean anything besides it being very convenient that it's my real name and I've never used it.


‪it is a symbol of acceptance in a way‬‬


a gesture of self esteem


or honesty maybe


what does that have to do with the guardian?


‪the guardian thing is just the fact that Norberto has been the person inside of or surrounding me who's actually been driving the car.  ‬‬


Like the wizard of Oz. the man behind the man.


so you will become the guardian now‬‬


as if Norberto was you higher self


or is... and now you are giving up your lower self


‪exactly,  he is my higher self. right on.‬‬


‪the higher self that is perhaps more of a little piece of everything‬‬

a bit more connected


‪he's the one who has been watching and guiding me to become who I am so that he could eventually take over and complete whatever the fuck it is we're suppose to do.‬‬


while we're here.


yep.  more of the everything in everything


‪and he seems to have more insight than you‬‬


he know what you are meant to do


‪Norberto created me (actually as an art piece) to see if I (Bert) could get to place by being and learning over time where the circumstances allowed for him (Norberto) to finally emerge as a reasonably complete being.‬‬


‪who am i really talking to?‬‬


it's a therapists wet dream really.‬‬




i guess Bert doesn't really exist


well, you're kind of talking to both of us.  it's a little weird‬‬


‪no i understand‬‬


you are the creation


and are in the illusion that you exist


and you are doing a good job


and in a way i will miss you when you are gone


oh well, thanks.  ‬‬


I mean, he's really not going anywhere.


oh hi Norberto‬‬


Norberto will still have all of his memories and experiences‬‬


‪you will‬‬


or I will have all of my...‬‬






it's a little confusing right now because I'm so close to the shift.


no worries‬‬




The good news is that time is the first thing to go so, tense is irrelevant.


time is a form of currency isn't it‬‬


me, I, him, all that bullshit is useless when you are completely present.‬‬


Yeah, it has power so, people give it value and that creates a system of currency but, it's not real so, fuck them.


‪how do you stay in the present?‬‬


and in a way compress the past and future into it


That said, as "things" go time is the most valuable‬‬


‪so that none of it matters‬‬


oh, I don't know, I only have glimpses at this point.‬‬


LOL. at this point...  thats funny