UCSD Visual Arts Department presents Political Equator II

UCSD Visual Arts Department presents Political Equator II

University of California, San Diego

November 2, 2007
UCSD Visual Arts Department presents Political Equator II
Political Equator II

November 16 and 17, 2007



Political Equator II: Collective Territory / Territory of Collaboration will be presented by the Visual Arts Department of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), in collaboration with the haudenschildGarage, Casa Familiar, Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), and inSite, and co-sponsors including the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Division of Arts and Humanities at UCSD, Woodbury University, The New School of Architecture in San Diego, Lui Velazquez in Tijuana, in conjunction with Patronato de Arte Contemporaneo (PAC) and Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA), and the PARC Foundation in New York. This 2-day trans-border event takes place on November 16 and 17, 2007, in San Diego and Tijuana. The event is free and open to the public.

The Political Equator Conferences were founded on the premise that if one traces an imaginary line along the US / México border and extends it across a map of the world, what emerges is a political equator roughly corresponding with the revised geography of the post-9/11 world according to Thomas P. M. Barnett’s scheme for The Pentagon’s New Map. Barnett effectively divided the globe into “functioning core,” or parts of the world where “globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security,” and non-integrating gap,” “regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and … chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists.” This concept set the stage last year for an exploration of Urbanities of Labor and Surveillance. Political Equator II tackles questions surrounding the intersection between sociopolitical and natural domains, foregrounding the notion of a collective territory and the territory of collaboration that transgresses hemispheric boundaries. At the core of such trans-hemispheric sociopolitical and economic dynamics is the conflict between transcontinental borders and the natural and social ecologies they interrupt and seek to erase.

Re-emerging in 2007 in conjunction with Transito(ry) Público / Public(o) Transit(orio), Political Equator II follows an event-based itinerary traveling from LA to San Diego to Tijuana, and back again. Focusing on artistic, urban, and environmental collaboratives from Latin America and Europe, the events and interventions hosted by educational and cultural institutions as well as community-based NGOs cross over into the no man’s land of the border zone itself, where the Tijuana River symbolizes the conflicts these collaborative practices seek to expose and engage.

Described as a “carnival of conversations on the move” by architect Teddy Cruz and art historian and critic Grant Kester, co-conveners of the event and members of the Visual Arts faculty at UCSD, Political Equator II begins at 12:30 PM Friday, November 16, 2007, with a “Conversation on the Move” led by Teddy Cruz. This conversation aboard the AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner at Union Station in Los Angeles concludes when the train reaches San Diego; participants move to the haudenschildGarage at 7 PM for a “Table of Collaboration,” a conversation involving members of the Argentinian art collaborative Ala Plástica, and the Caracas Think Tank from Venezuela.

At 10 AM Saturday, November 17, participants will reconvene in the border neighborhood of San Ysidro, at The Front at Casa Familiar, a cultural center recently inaugurated by the community-based NGO, for interventions by Mexican art collaboratives Tercerunquinto and Torolab. Following “Food for Thought,” a lunch and performance piece, participants will begin a pedestrian border crossing at the Tijuana checkpoint. With the intent of closely observing the collision of the Tijuana River and the busiest checkpoint in the world, a bus tour traces the river deep into this city’s sprawling mix of American-style subdivisions, informal settlements, and maquiladora factories. The conference concludes at Centro Cultural Tijuana, CECUT, where at 5 PM provocative French Landscape Architect Gilles Clement will present a public lecture on “The Share of Third Landscape in the Planetary Garden”; at 8 PM, the final event, “Conversation: From Tijuana to the World,” engages invited artists, architects, and critics in a debate projecting the case of Tijuana through the lens of territorial phenomena characterizing border zones worldwide.

For further information:

http://www.politicalequator.org / Yolie Torres (858) 822-3887


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University of California, San Diego
November 2, 2007

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