‘Border Tuner’: New art exhibit brings families across the border together

News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — For the next 11 nights, giant beams of light will be shooting over and across the border from Bowie High School in El Paso’s South Side and from the Chamizal Park in Juarez.

They’re part of a new art exhibit called “Border Tuner,” which connects people on opposite sides using light and microphones.

On Wednesday, people on both sides of the border were able to control the lights with a dial. When the lights connected in the sky, it allowed them to speak to one another through a microphone.

Once two lights from either side of the border touch you can speak through this microphone.

Well wishes from Juarez could be heard on speakers in the parking lot of the high school. And the group gathered in Juarez could hear the responses. At one point Wednesday evening, a drum circle formed and performed for the people to listen in Juarez.

“In this region, there’s a vibrant set of communities that are speaking to each other on a daily basis, so try and give a different narrative about what the border is all about,” said Rafael Lozano-Hemmer the artist of Border Tuner.

The “Border Tuner” will be running for 12 days. The conversations will also be broadcast internationally on Bordertuner.net.

“Sometimes they ask me if this going to be private conversations. No, ‘Border Tuner’ is not about private conversations it is about making your voice public and for it to be amplified,” Lozano-Hemmer said.

Lozano-Hemmer is a Mexican-Canadian artist and wants to give families the opportunity to connect and also let the world connect to our border cities.

“I know that there are families that have been separated across the border. I would love for them to take over the installation and speak to each other through this light,” said Lozano-Hemmer

There are a total of six light stations; three in Parque El Chamizal in Juarez and three in El Paso behind Bowie High School along the border highway. The lights are visible within a 10-mile radius.

Map of the six light stations on both sides of the border.

Every night from Nov. 13-24 either speakers, poets or musicians will speak or perform with one another from each side of the border.

The exhibit will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is free to the public. However, if you can’t make it you can send a recording of your voice and it will be played over the microphone for everyone to hear.

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