"Cruces" is a research project about stories, poetics, and rhetorics on human mobilities and national borders. I conceived this project as an installation that uses video, photographs, and sound to interweave narratives from different perspectives, aesthetics from limiting and perilous geographies, and the movement of transit.
So far I've carried out fieldwork in several locations both on the border and in large migrant communities within the United States. In 2019 I traveled to East Boston, Jackson Heights in New York City, Miami, the Sonoran Desert, and the Rio Grande Valley. I also visited the San Diego/Tijuana area and Mexico's southern border in early 2020.
This project started as an artist residency in the Flower City Arts Center in Rochester, NY, in 2018, and evolved to become my MFA thesis at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the basis for my PhD dissertation.
The word 'cruces' in Spanish, has various meanings: it can signify crossings – physical passages; visual crosses – symbols of a place where somebody died; mixtures – like cultural hybridization; and favors – a personal courtesy.
Documentary short film (please use full screen mode and use the appropriate subtitles)
Set of images edited using an artificial intelligence algorithm fed with photographs of immigrants taken while clandestinely crossing the border (images provided by Borderfilm Project), and pictures they took after settling in the United States. This is a work in progress, as the neural network and the training machine need to be fine-tuned with additional data.