Robert Gomez

A dual Mexican and American citizen, Robert Gomez earned a dual MFA in Social Practices and MA in Visual Critical studies at California College of the Arts. Robert earned a double major in Latin Languages and Painting from the University of New Mexico in 2009. Upon High School graduation, he spent two years at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Robert is invested in how art can function as an exercise of human freedoms in post and neo-colonial communities. As a writer and maker, his research and community work function as complimentary tools for social engagement through the arts. His work can be accessed at, and he can be reached at

About Robert Gomez’s Thesis Project

Robert Gomez

A New Digital Media Regime: Narco Warfare Through Social Media

A new digital media regime—the Narco execution video—has become a tool for warfare in Mexico. In these videos, Mexican drug cartels stage and perform violence for the camera, then disseminate the videos through social media. They directly address their rivals, and their rivals respond with even more explicit videos and violent acts. These videos are part of a social system of power based upon the visualization of torture as socio-ideological control. Integrated within several economies of violence, Narco interrogation and execution videos set a precedent in the appropriation of social media for warfare. They challenge us to reconsider how we perceive and regulate the power relationships between the virtual and physical worlds. What we can learn through them will directly influence the future of wars propagated across digital and physical spaces.

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