Diego Arias Asch

Diego Arias Asch (1988) grew up in Costa Rica and is based in Amsterdam since 2016. Academically, he is a communicator. Money comes from this source as well. In the past years he moved from doing commercial to cultural to political communication, working for a medical cannabis lobby group and an award-winning politician. He has received training in academic drawing, painting, and 2D animation. His artworks have been displayed, amongst others, in the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo (Costa Rica), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Perú), King Juan Carlos I Cultural Center (USA), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo (Spain) and Museo Ex-Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico). 

'Milk the farmer, drink the cow is a methodology for makers to deeply explore their fictional stories through visual and performative arts'
by Diego Arias Asch

Artist statement

I play devil’s advocate. I argue that we tend to sacrifice the pursuit of truth in part to protect our worldview, and in part because of group compliance. This, in my experience, tends to result in otherwise preventable injustice and suffering. I regard rigid positioning on complex issues as symptoms that can be treated through further debate. In my films, as well as in my private conversations, I attempt to make a case for unpopular stands or against commonly shared beliefs, including my own assumptions. I don’t attempt to provide answers but to shake the popular ones.

Story, Visual Arts, Performative Arts, Playfulness, Truth

Milk the farmer, drink the cow

The research is a methodology for a writer to substantially explore and better understand the elements of a fictional story (characters, settings). To do so, the writer either makes or commissions visual or performative artworks. These pieces are questioned by the writer and his collaborators from different perspectives. For instance, the perspective of a historian, or a forensic psychologist. This questioning process happens from the moment of conceptualisation of the piece and continues after its completion. It is by addressing these questions that the writer gathers information about the characters and the world they inhabit. The use of different perspectives lets the writer consider possibilities he might otherwise miss.

The project is a story for an animated film in which a man’s life falls to chaos because he does not dare to speak his mind. This man lives in a kingdom ruled by a tyrannical child; he is surrounded by people who either worship or detest the regime. The resentful ones are being trained by a mysterious outsider. The man is threatened by both sides, so he does not dare to criticize them. Every time he omits to speak his mind, things get worse and worse, and worse, and worse.