Guillermo Gómez-Peña was born in 1955 and raised in Mexico City, Gómez-Peña came to the US in 1978. His work, which includes performance art, video, audio, installations, poetry, journalism, and cultural theory, explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language, "extreme culture" and new technologies in the era of globalization. A MacArthur fellow, he is a regular contributor to the national radio news magazine All Things Considered (National Public Radio), a writer for newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Mexico, and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (MIT).
For twenty years, Gómez-Peña has been exploring intercultural issues with the use of mixed genres and experimental languages. Continually developing multi-centric narratives and large-scale performance projects from a border perspective, Gómez-Peña creates what critics have termed "Chicano cyber-punk performances," and "ethno-techno art." In his work, cultural borders have moved to the center while the alleged mainstream is pushed to the margins and treated as exotic and unfamiliar, placing the audience members in the position of "foreigners" or "minorities."
He mixes English and Spanish, fact and fiction, social reality and pop culture, Chicano humor and activist politics to create a "total experience" for the viewer/reader/audience member. These strategies can be found in his live performance work, his radio chronicles, his award-winning video art pieces, and his five published books. Through his organization La Pocha Nostra, Gómez-Peña has focused very intensely in the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generation as an act of citizen diplomacy and as a means to create “ephemeral communities.”