Eye on Texas: Border Tuner

In November, a massive public art project lit up the sky over El Paso and Juárez, prompting conversations both funny and serious, political and personal.

Each night of Border Tuner included programmed events when all the microphones tuned into conversations by invited guests, including fronterizo poets, activists, musicians, historians, and leaders of the Tigua, Apache, and Rarámuri indigenous communities from both sides of the border.
Each night of Border Tuner included programmed events when all the microphones tuned into conversations by invited guests, including fronterizo poets, activists, musicians, historians, and leaders of the Tigua, Apache, and Rarámuri indigenous communities from both sides of the border. Monica Lozano

In November, a massive public art project lit up the sky over El Paso and Juárez, prompting conversations both funny and serious, political and personal.

Each night of Border Tuner included programmed events when all the microphones tuned into conversations by invited guests, including fronterizo poets, activists, musicians, historians, and leaders of the Tigua, Apache, and Rarámuri indigenous communities from both sides of the border.
Each night of Border Tuner included programmed events when all the microphones tuned into conversations by invited guests, including fronterizo poets, activists, musicians, historians, and leaders of the Tigua, Apache, and Rarámuri indigenous communities from both sides of the border. Monica Lozano

I met Argeenis, a 23-year-old drag queen from Ciudad Juárez, on my fifth day of documenting El Paso’s Border Tuner art project. The multimedia installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer virtually connected El Paso and Juárez for 12 days in November. The public was invited to operate searchlights installed at six stations on both sides of the Rio Grande. When two beams of light crossed from opposite sides, microphones and speakers switched on, allowing people to talk with each other across the wall separating the two cities.

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Monica Lozano is a Mexican-American photographer born in El Paso, Texas and raised across the border in the sister city of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Her work has won various international photo competitions and grants, including two medals in Le Grand Prix de la Photographie Paris 2019 and final selection for Portrait of Humanity Book published by British Journal of Photography and Magnum Photos. Lozano is currently documenting the dire conditions of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers housed in shelters and detention facilities in El Paso and Juárez.


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