Salas was born and raised in Indio. After serving in the Marine Corps, he branched out into acting, finding himself initially cast as a soldier, then a member of a Mexican cartel and terrorist. Using his veteran perks, he attended the California Institute of the Arts, graduating in 2020. He crafted a wonderfully absurd performance, Passive income, to combat the cannibalism that underlies the pampered and counterfeit landscapes that dot the Coachella Valley. Unfortunately, Hector cannot participate at this time as he is recovering from a cancer diagnosis. An alternate piece he created, Entre (“in between”), holds a place for him, just as we hold a place in our hearts for his successful treatment and full recovery.

Each work is born from a different personal story, but the links reinforce our common humanity. We are singular and collective; members of a tribe and isolated “others”. If we are not part of the dominant culture, we fear being subsumed. At the same time, we crave novelty in the form of food, music, clothing and ideas. Between the poles of appreciation and appropriation lie nuance and ambiguity. Cultural cannibalism asks that we investigate this territory to engage in deeper conversations about power dynamics, systemic racism, and how we can learn to be better.