by Arturo Ortiz and Lizzie Sturr
After Operation ‘Hold the Line’ was deployed in 1993, fewer migrants were able to cross in safe urban areas and were forced into harsh and dangerous landscapes. Nonprofits and community groups leave water gallons throughout the desert to help prevent migrant deaths. Our project developed after watching and reading about U.S. Border Patrol agents sabotaging water supplies left for migrants coming from Mexico into the United States. On social media you can see them slashing, shooting, kicking, or emptying water from the gallons.
As landscape architects and designers, Between Dualities explores this tragedy in two forms and pushes back against the Border Patrol Agents:first as a design solution and second as an art object.
The Prototype: The purpose of this prototype is to camouflage water left for crossing migrants from U.S. Border Patrol. As a political statement, this prototype highlights the absurdity that a simple human necessity to survive (e.g., drinking water) needs to be camouflaged.
This prototype was installed in along the Mexico-U.S. Border in El Paso, TX and further developed as an installation for Wurster Courtyard at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.