This is one of a series of videos from Transborder Immigrant Tool: Mexico/U.S Border Disturbance Art Project, an initiative to give GPS technology to economic refugees from Mexico trying to enter the United States. The video uses imagery from the Virtual Hiker Algorithm, a video game-like GPS application for mobile phones developed by one of the members of the project. As the About page explains:
The border between the U.S. and Mexico has moved between the virtual and the all too real since before the birth of the two nation-states. This has allowed a deep archive of suspect movement across this border to be traced and tagged – specifically anchoredto immigrants bodies moving north, while immigrant bodies moving south much less so. The danger of moving north across this border is not a question of politics, but vertiginous geography. Hundreds of people have died crossing the U.S./Mexico border due to not being able to tell where they are in relation to where they have been and which direction they need to go to reach their destination safely. Now with the rise of multiple distributed geospatial information systems (such as the Google Earth Project for example), GPS (Global Positioning System) and the developing Virtual Hiker Algorithm by artist Brett Stalbaum it is now possible to develop useful Transborder Tools for Immigrants – and allow virtual geography to mark new trails and potentially safer routes across this desert of the real.
An article in MobileActive.org gives additional information on the technical aspects of the project.
For the text of the poem, see the blog post, which also supplies the following context and credits:
Video exhibited in ‘Space is the Place’ exhibition at the Gallery of the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, as part of the program of ISEA 2009 which takes place in Belfast and Dublin Ireland this year. The exhibition will run from the 27th August – 1st September 2009.
Text of poems: Amy Sara Carroll
Video poems design: Ricardo Dominguez, Micha Cárdenas, and Elle Mehrmand
Voices included in the poems: Micha Cárdenas, Amy Sara Carroll, Césaire Carroll-Dominguez, Patrick Carroll, and Ricardo Dominguez
Collaborative inspiration: Brett Stalbaum