Friday, October 16, 2015

Border Art

No, not quilt borders--I mean national borders.

With refugee crises around the world, we've been hearing a lot about 'sovereignty' and 'controlling our borders'.  I have mixed feelings about it, and a deep mistrust of anyone who claims the answers are easy.

We have a border fence between the US and Mexico.

Fence photo courtesy of Guardian.
It is an environmental disaster.  Some would say it is a human disaster.

Today, I read about a bunch of artists who erected a string of Helium-filled balloons perpendicular to and on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

They purchased these adorable balloons.  Apparently, they sell them in Home Depots and Ag supply stores to discourage birds from eating field crops.

The store-bought balloons come printed with giant eyes to scare birds away from crop fields.
Usually, fences lie ALONG a border.  But, artists, being artists, look at things a bit differently.

They put their fence ACROSS the border, in a straight line.  It's like they are stitching the land on both sides of the border together.

When is a fence not a fence but more like a tie?
The artists and the journalists, failed to mention that we have an actual string of balloons already along the US-Mexico border.  Read the US Customs and Border Patrol information site about the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) program. Aerostats are a fancy name for tethered balloons.

Map of actual Customs and Border Patrol network of aerostats (big balloons).

The TARS balloons are bigger--much bigger.

My, what big gas tanks you have!
If you file a FOIA request, you can read what I've written about field operations of very large balloons.  But, that was in a past life.  Today, I just wanna blog about art.

Now let's look at another brilliant piece of border art.  Artist Ana Fernandez painted a section of the fence separating Tijuana and San Diego to 'erase' it.

More border art on the fence between Tijuana and San Diego.
Have a good weekend!

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