Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

12/12/2019

A Border They Never Knew Existed

Posted by Carren |

Artists invite us to look deeper into something we thought we already knew. No other project has been so fascinating as to think about what constitutes borders and how human society have drawn lines where there were none before. 

For this project, I brought all these artists into the studio, recorded them and produced an audio slideshow. Listen to their perspectives in the link!

~*C

It all began when artist Hillary Mushkin’s roof in Echo Park needed to be fixed, and the builder she contracted had mysteriously disappeared. It turns out that he was detained for six weeks even though he had a green card. “I'm an American citizen. I was born here. These are the laws of my country, and I don't know or understand anything about them,” said Mushkin. “It was disturbing to me that I did not understand that that was possible.”

This incident started Mushkin down the rabbit hole of border law, where she discovered the 100-mile border zone, an area all around the United States (swallowing up whole states like Florida and Michigan) where federal law permits U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents can “enter private property, set up highway checkpoints; stop, question and detain individuals they suspect to have committed immigration violations — and can even use race and ethnicity as factors to do so.”

The revelation so disturbed Mushkin that it catalyzed her “Three Border Ecologies” project. “My project is focused on the concept of visualizing that hundred-mile inland border. What it actually looks like, where it is, and how we can sort of recognize something which isn't actually just a line that you could build on because it’s such a gigantic, not specific place,” says Mushkin. [read and listen]

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