I’m gearing up to get on the road at the end of August through September, traveling to several border towns with AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides) and Tanya Aguiñiga‘s Border Quipu. After bringing the project to all of the border crossings in California last year, AMBOS Project will be on the road taking the Border Quipu and other various artistic interventions to all of the border crossings from Lukeville, Arizona to El Paso, Texas. I helped document this project last year at the Tijuana/San Diego border and I am even more excited to join them on the road to document this next extension.
What is AMBOS Project you ask? Through the repurposing of a vacant storefront at the Tijuana/San Diego border crossing in San Ysidro, AMBOS served as an idea lab for international creative collaboration and programming. Through artist interventions and commuter collaborations that address bi-national transition and identity, AMBOS seeks to create a greater sense of interconnectedness in the border region.
AMBOS first began August 2016 and continues to establish a framework that can support future projects/creative activities at border crossings into 2018. Artist coordinators include Tanya Aguiniga (LA/TJ), Cog*nate Collective (LA/SD/TJ), Relaciones Inesperadas (TJ), Ingrid Hernandez (TJ) with Peter Wisse (Netherlands), POLEN [Adriana Trujillo and Jose Inerzia] (TJ) and Isabel Gil Gomez + Pablo Martinez Zarate + Juan Alberto Apodaca (Mexico City).
Tanya Aguiñiga‘s Border Quipu
“What are your thoughts when you cross this border?”
This is the question that Tijuana-born/LA-based artist Tanya Aguiniga asked commuters waiting on the Mexican side to cross into the US/Mexico border in San Ysidro. With this in mind, they were given two strands of thread and asked to tie them into a knot. The strings represent Mexico and the US, ourself on either side of the border, and our mental state while crossing.
This work, entitled Border Quipu, is Tanya’s contribution to AMBOS Project (Art Made Between Opposite Sides). A “quipu” is an ancient Inca device for recording information, consisting of variously colored threads knotted in different ways.
Knots were collected every day for a week and added to a large scale quipu that was displayed on a billboard at the border. Border Quipu will later be exhibited at Pacific Standard Time this year.
I found a really great video online if you want to get to know more about Tanya, her background, and what she does. Check it out: