Lucy Petrovich: Desert Views, Desert Deaths

  • ©, Lucy Petrovich, Desert Views, Desert Deaths
  • ©, Lucy Petrovich, Desert Views, Desert Deaths
  • ©, Lucy Petrovich, Desert Views, Desert Deaths

Artist(s):


Title:


    Desert Views, Desert Deaths

Symposium:



Artist Statement:


    Desert Views, Desert Deaths is a large-scale computer installation of an interactive stereoscopic immersive environment. It was created as a memorial for those who have died of dehydration and heat exhaustion while crossing the border from Mexico into the United States.

    The strict enforcement of border crossings has forced migrants away from the main routes and cities they have taken in the past, to more remote desert locations. In the summer the desert temperatures reach 37-48°C for more than three consecutive months. Illegal ‘border guides’ drop people off in the middle of the desert with one jug of water. They are told that the nearest city is an hour away when in fact it is often over 2 days away on foot. Last year a record number of people died of heatstroke or dehydration while crossing the border. This year hundreds more will die in the Sonoran Desert.

    This virtual unreality is a memorial for those who have died while crossing the desert. When you enter Desert Views, Desert Deaths you are in the middle of an elusive graveyard of crosses. In the distance you can see into translucent overlapping caskets composed of desert images. You enter the life-size caskets and see the names of those who died of heat and dehydration while crossing the border. As you follow the caskets you find more information about the people. While traversing the landscape you hear sounds of the desert following you as you continue your journey.

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