Proposal

4 06 2008

Here is a proposal for a project. I suspect that I will only have time to propose it, I cannot seem to get lifted off the ground. But.

Along the border between the United States and Mexico, is the detritus of immigration and counter immigration attempts. Plastic bottles and tin cans, a hat and a shoe, rope and stone. In the deserts, these items are degraded quickly by the sun. A plastic bottle becomes brittle and broken, leaving faintly cloudy shards; a cotton sock becomes unraveled and becomes threads, some of which, perhaps, are picked up by local birds and woven into nests.

I see these items collected and documented—photographed in-situ, localized by GPS, mapped onto a wall-size figure. I see the items suspended in a room and I see you and I walking through the lace like curtains of clothing, staring at the empty bottles of water.

Where is my relationship to these items. I grew up in San Diego, when the Mexican-American border was more porous than it is now. The relationships among caucasians, individuals of Mexican-descent, Mexicans, and individuals from countries further south (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, to name a few, remember, this was the time of Iran-Contra and the death squads) was complicated when I was growing up. In high school, I entered into the bilingual program. I am of German, Welsh, English and Irish descent—cold countries for the most part—cold and fairly puritanical (apart from my one Irish-Catholic lineage).

I do not know my relationship, only that I want you to see these items, and I want you to see these items in a place where it is harder to ignore them, or to file them away under the “littering” place mark.

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