magined Geography, Border Futurism, Guatemex
Claudia Pederson / USA
wichita state university
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.