Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos ::: Home

As shown-
by Mark Skwarek & John Craig Freeman

The augmented reality work "Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos".

We captured a section of the US/ Mexico boarder where migrants passed away trying to enter the U.S. We have brought that 3d location into the gallery space with augmented reality. This project also exists in real world scale at the MoMA. Gallery goers are able to experience the location where the migrants passed while being in the MoMA court yard. The experience will be a scale first person perspective of the valley. If viewers walk the path through the virtual valley they will safely cross the MoMA court yard, walking around the pools of water and dodging trees and shrubbery. The work is a vivid reminder of the price paid for the U.S. way of life.

Project Description:

The Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos,
is an augmented reality public art project and memorial, dedicated to the thousands of migrants who have died along the U.S./Mexico border. This iteration of the project allows users to remotely visualize the sites where human remains have been recovered with a smart phone mobile device.

This iteration of the project uses software to superimpose computer generated 3D graphics of traditional Mexican skeleton wood-carvings, or calaca, at the precise GPS coordinates of recorded migrant deaths with an accurate 3d copy of the exact terrain from the USGS. This enables gallery viewers to see the calacas integrated into the 3d USGS terrain as if they existed in the real world.

We hope that in some cases this project might give solace to the family and loved one of those who have died and assist them through the mourning process. Just as importantly however, this project is designed for the citizens of the United States and intended to impact the formation of national identity by remembering the sacrifice which has been made on behalf of our shared values. We feel that the time has come for this nation to acknowledge the role we play, both individually and collectively, in creating the conditions for death at this scale to occur, and to own up to the economic benefit we have reaped by maintaining a cheap, marginalized, undocumented migrant workforce in food production, child care, manufacturing, building, domestic maintenance, tourism and virtually all other aspects of our economy.