[ISEA2017] Paper: Claudia Pederson — Imagined Geography, Interstitial Futures, Guatemex


Keywords: Architecture, Art, Border, Media Art, Utopia, Intervention, Mexico, Guatemala, Immigration, South.

This paper examines Guatemex (2006), an intervention at the border of Mexico and Guatemala by three Mexican artists, Rene Hayashi, Eder Castillo, and Antonio O’Connel. I discuss the project’s significance in relation to its conception as a concrete response to local needs, as it was designed to provide internet access and information to undocumented migrants crossing the interstitial space of Usumacinta River, the fluid border between Mexico and Guatemala. In this light, I also consider how Guatemex builds on, speaks to, and expand on notions about architecture, “border art”, “imagined geography”, utopian community, and “securitization”. The focus of discussion is on the project’s negotiation of these terms, and on its relevance as an intervention that suggests connecting and thinking with the margins as one of today’s most urgent projects.

  • Claudia Costa Pederson, School of Art and Design, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, United States. Claudia holds a PhD in Art History and Visual Studies from Cornell University. Her research focuses on topics at the intersections of art, technology, and activism. Her essays appear in Review: Literature and Art of the Americas, Journal of Peer Production, Media-N,Afterimage, InterActive, Intelligent Agent, Eludamos, and ISEA, DAC, and CHI conference proceedings. Book chapters are included in The Philosophy of Documentary Film, Indie Reframed: Women Filmmakers and Contemporary American Cinema, and Cinema em Redes: Tecnologia, Estetica e Politica na Era Digital. Her chapter on robotic art and ecology in Mexico is included in the forthcoming anthology, Latin American Modernisms and Technology, Pederson is currently an assistant professor of Art and Technology at Wichita State University, and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Assistant Curator for New Media.

Full text (PDF) p. 303-309