Isaías D. Rodríguez
Isaías D. Rodríguez is an independent multimedia producer and owner of chueco c/s, a multimedia business that focuses on producing products and services that educate, empower, and inspire the community. Originally from Boyle Heights, CA, Isaías moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996, where he developed into a producer, director, visual artist, video instructor, filmmaker, and community organizer. Isaías is the Interactive Media Producer at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a multidisciplinary art center, that feature visual arts, performing arts, film/video and education programs.
The body of his work has focused on youth media and Chicano/Latino culture. In San Francisco he joined the local television production Viva la Vida, a Latin@ variety show started by his brother. The show gave him the chance to produce, direct, and edit. A year later with he founded his own production, Rodríguez Brothers Production c/s. Working for the Pacific News Service for over 6 years, he organized statewide multimedia events, taught writing workshops in juvenile hall, created/directed a youth television show, YO! TV, and founded/directed PoetryTelevision.com, a website dedicated to celebrating the word and its voice. Working for the Just Think Foundation, a non-profit youth media literacy organization, Isaías taught digital video production at City Arts and Technology High School and to high school students involved with the b.a.y. Fund non-profit organization.
What does chueco mean?
Chueco means “crooked” in spanish. Growing up in East Los Angeles my family would use this word to describe something when it wasn’t right. “Mijo, your shirt is chueco on the side. Fix it,” my mom would tell me. As a Chicano, things have always been chueco. Through economics, culture, familia, politics, and (place your answer here.) Everyone can speak to a little chueco in their lives.
I chose this name for my business to embrace the chueco in all of us. Everyone has a little chueco in their lives no matter what culture you come from. I hope that as a community we can embrace our chueconess and learn to celebrate all the positive things we each have to offer one another. One love.
What is c/s?
I love the writing of José Antonio Burciaga’s Drink Cultura c/s. In this great book José writes about his use of the c/s symbol.
“At one time or another many of us have seen the c/s sign-off on Chicano placas and graffiti in the Southwest or Midwest. It’s a very common Chicano symbol but its true origin and significance is nebulous.
It is not a Mexican symbol but a Chicano, A Mexican-American, symbol. Its origin is unknown but, like the Pachuco, it probably originated in South El Paso’s Segundo Barrio. The c/s sign-off means con safos, and translates literally as “with safety.” It was meant as a safety precaution, a barrio copyright, patent pending. No one else could use or dishonor the graffiti. It was an honorable code of conduct, a literary imprimatur. Like saying “amen,” it ended discussion….
Chicano artists and writers of the late sixties and early seventies often used the c/s symbol in signing their works, especially when the works were political or cultural in nature. There was even a magazine entitled Con Safos.
In these short pieces, my ending logo is the c/s sign, like an amen. Whether you agree with me or not, whether you like it or not, with all due respect, this is my reality. c/s”
-José Antonio Burciaga, “Drink Cultura c/s,” p. 6 & 8