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. Read more at texasobserver.org/bordertuner.
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)

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.

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A version of this story ran in the January / February 2020 issue.

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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