In 2010, the “Estela de Luz” (Stela of Light) was inaugurated as the commemorative monument of the bicentennial of Mexican independence. But when a newspaper report revealed the exorbitant total cost of the project, around 1 billion pesos, it was deemed to be far too high for a tower covered in marble and lights, and the monument instead became a symbol synonymous of Mexican corruption.
After the scandalous cost was revealed, an attempt was made to redefine the work by adding a Digital Culture Center, which currently operates in the basement. The center has seven spaces dedicated to different aspects of digital art: literature, games, communication, immersion, web lab, education, and free technologies.
Its mission is to exhibit only digital art, and currently does so out of separate spaces dedicated to exhibition and immersion. The most immersive is the huge white gallery in the basement that is completely illuminated by colored lights.
Despite the fact that the exhibitions are interesting, the stigma of the place did not prevent several civil organizations from converting the exterior plaza into a sidewalk tribute to the political and criminal disappearances of the 2006-2012 presidential administration. On the sidewalk, small metal plates show the names and histories of some of the people who disappeared during those years.
Despite its official name, it is better-known today as “La Suavicrema” after its resemblance to a local brand of cream wafer cookies. This site is undoubtedly a complex cultural space and although art critics and most of the general public consider it a horrific monument, today it is part of one of the city’s financial districts, signaling the entrance to Bosque de Chapultepec.
Know Before You Go
The Centro de Cultura Digital is open Tuesday through Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm.