Why two artists surveyed the U.S.-Mexico border ... the one from 1821

Two artists — one Mexican, one American — piled into a white Sprinter van stuffed with camping gear, photo equipment and art supplies for  a 3,721-mile journey to mark the expanse of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Marcos Ramirez, known as “ERRE,” a Tijuana artist who tackles border topics in sculptural and conceptual works, and David Taylor, an Arizona photographer who has documented the border, began the first leg of their journey in July 2014 with a two-hour crossing from Tijuana into the U.S. at the international border.  

But instead of heading east toward Arizona, the artists traveled north along Interstate 15 through the Mojave and the Owens Valley and up the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, where they camped within view of Mt. Whitney. The pair then cut west toward the California coast, through the rolling hills of Mendocino County, and redwood forests, before landing at Crissey Field State Park, a small, coastal recreational area outside Brookings, Ore.

There, at 42 degrees latitude on a wild beach a few dozen feet from the California border, they planted — without permission — a 6-foot-6-inch steel obelisk to mark the divide between the U.S and Mexico.

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