Location: Tampa, FL, United States
X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility is a body of work about the phenomenological effects of vision technologies on the perception of undocumented immigrants crossing the US/Mexico border. This body of work includes four series that remediate digital images made by machine vision used to patrol the US/Mexico border into historic craft processes. The images included here are from the series Backscatter Blueprint. The translation from digital to analog processes is intended to expose how new vision technologies recycle Cartesian modes of viewing and in so doing reinforce a neocolonial worldview historically embedded in digital imaging.
In the series Backscatter Blueprint, cyanotype is used to remediate appropriated images taken using a backscatter x-ray camera. Backscatter x-ray is used to patrol cargo trucks attempting to cross the US/Mexico border. The historical use of cyanotype in the reproduction of architectural plans and in recording and categorization resonates with the elevation-like imagery that the backscatter machine produces, images that reveal a jarring tension between the rationalized mechanical grid of the trucks and the fragile bodies of their human cargo.
Reproducing imagery intended for digital screen-based viewing using analog historical processes developed at the beginning of the modern period asks us to consider the precedence for digital imaging and development of Western Enlightenment vision technologies beginning with perspectival painting.
The physicalization of these images through craft calls into question the immediacy in which digital images are produced and consumed, separating these images from the screen gives them body and space to be viewed outside of their original context, of hunter and hunted.