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Border art for a border ecology

Ila Nicole Sheren

This chapter considers the possibility of creating border art within the framework of what I call a border ecology. With this term, I offer a way around one of the most pervasive contradictions surrounding environmental art. Any discussion of the environment necessarily entails nonhuman agencies, as well as an accounting for the human capacity for destruction. At the same time, such considerations of objects, things, and animals often develop a human-sized blind spot. The earth rewrites human history, while landscapes of human inequality shape the earth in turn. Drought, flood, scarcity, and abundance, all affect human migration patterns and shape cultural contact zones. Both the new materialist viewpoint and the postcolonial lens are necessary, I argue, to conceptualize the magnitude of the current environmental crisis. New materialism grants agency to objects and forces long neglected by the anthropocentric discourses, while postcolonial thought is necessary for discussions of the developing world and for reconfiguring the terms of environmental crisis in all circumstances. Applying the idea of borderecology to the highly emblematic site of the US-Mexico border is an intriguing possibility, one that finds resonance in the work of the indigenous art collective Postcommodity, as well as a 2011 video piece by artist Amar Kanwar set in the Indian state of Odisha. Both artworks engage the idea of non-Western and nonhuman epistemologies, effectively erasing traditional hierarchies and working to undo histories of human inequality.

Postcommodity’s Repellent Fence

For their installation Repellent Fence/Vala Repelente (2015), Postcommodity reenvisioned the border between the United States and Mexico. This image is a provocative one: a line of yellow helium balloons, each 10 feet in diameter and tethered 100 feet above ground, cutting diagonally across the foreground and receding into a mountainous horizon. The balloons appear to hold their ground, marking a swath of territory for a new order, one indicated by the inscrutable symbols emblazoned in all directions. At once an eye and a target, the balloons, the artists write, are enlarged versions of an ineffective "scare eye” bird repellent, a product that “[c]oincidently ... use[s] indigenous medicine colors and iconography - the same graphic used by indigenous peoples from South America to

Canada for thousands of years” (Postcommodity). Scanning deeper into the photograph, the viewer sees that Postcommodity’s Repellent Fence intersects another one, as the long line of yellow balloons straddles the US-Mexico border. At center left, the dark line of the border fence emerges briefly before ducking back behind a swell of the ground. From this vantage point, the balloon fence overpowers the international border line. The bright yellow orbs both overpower and supersede the authority of the wall.

Unlike the border fence, the Repellent Fence is inherently open, for there is no barrier in the intervals between each tether. The use of balloons also sets the line in motion, for each can sway depending on the direction and intensity of the wind. Aesthetically, these two factors construct a border line that is both porous and vacillating, terms used by Etienne Balibar, among others, to describe the state of international divides in late twentieth-century Europe.1 The promise of a globalized world, one heralded by such efforts as the Schengen Agreement, the establishment of the Eurozone, and in North America, 1994’s NAFTA, was one of opeimess and access, signified by the rhetoric of the dissolution (or at least the permeability) of longstanding borders. It is no coincidence, then, that Repellent Fence offers up a line that fulfills these very conditions, intersecting with and potentially undermining the stability of the metal fence that lurks in the background.

As a scholar of the borderlands, I am immediately drawn into a comparison with The Cloud, Alfredo Jaar’s performance/installation for the 2000-2001 version of the San Diego-Tijuana festival InSITE. A “cloud” comprised of over a thousand helium balloons, labeled with the names of the more than 3,000 undocumented immigrants who died making the desert crossing, hovered above the ground at Valle de los Muertos (Valley of the Dead). Not all of the undocumented had been identified, so many of the balloons were imprinted with “sin nombre,” an acknowledgment of this fact. During the performance, the cloud was opened, and the balloons, untethered, were carried south on the wind. The direction was unintended by the artist or the festival organizers, but it allowed for the symbolism of a return journey home? I have discussed this piece at length before, so I will instead focus on its resonances with Postcommodity’s Repellent Fence. The two pieces are formally similar, each an installation of balloons at the specific site of the border. Both Jaar’s performance and the Postcommodity installation comprise a spectacle, with each using its platform to advocate for those rendered invisible by the rhetoric surrounding the border. Yet Jaar’s memorial remains overdetermined by its subject matter, with little room for ambiguity or surprise. Because of its visual components, Postcommodity’s work draws attention to marginalized human voices in ways that prioritize objecthood and foreground discussions of the environment, encouraging a conceptualization of the borderlands as a shared space for human and nonhuman interests.

Postcommodity staged this border art intervention between the cities of Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora. With the Repellent Fence, these two sister cities become stitched together through a fence made not of solid metal, but of air, a play on the popular conception of the border as an empty space or

“no-man’s land.” Such rhetoric imagines the borderlands as previously unoccupied, a tabula rasa for US settler colonialism under the guise of Manifest Destiny. Repellent Fence works to undo the normalization of the border as a line dividing unclaimed territories. In particular, Douglas, Arizona, is home to the “Geronimo Surrenders” monument, a marker of the ongoing colonial project in the US Southwest. Such a monument inscribes the history of the region in terms of Anglo-American victories, rather than the dispossession of indigenous peoples.

Such erased histories bring the viewer back to the symbols emblazoned on the bright yellow balloons. Those “scare-eye” targets are intended for home use, imitating the glaring eyes of predatory birds. Product images for a typical Amazon vendor show the “scare eyes” hanging in gardens and, in one crudely photoshopped image, poking out of a cornfield next to a denim-clad Anglo-American farmer. The idea of a “repellent fence,” then, raises questions as to who, or what, is being repelled. As such, the work is propositional in nature, perhaps instituting a novel form of border enforcement. The decades-long militarization of the border finds its resolution, even its logical extreme, in the decoy eyes protecting this stretch of land. Yet Postcommodity, in descriptions of the work, refers to the bird repellent as "ineffective.” This assessment is the opinion of one of the artists who had apparently purchased the product for personal use, only to see the birds return after a few days (Montiel). In its appropriation of the product symbols, then. Repellent Fence offers a critique of the entire militarized US-Mexico borderapparatus. Postcommodity reveals the theatrical nature of border security to be pure artifice, a show of force rather than an indication of true strength.

Delving further into the “scare-eye” symbolism, the collective notes that the commercially available product makes use of indigenous medicinal colors and appropriates the form of the oblong “eye,” a symbol shared throughout North and South American indigenous communities. Rather than homing in on a specific region, culture, or tribe, Postcommodity describes the balloons as an “indigenous semiotic system” that emphasizes "interconnectedness” (Montiel). Taking into account this more complete history of the “scare eye,” it becomes impossible to separate the Western from the non-Western. the United States from Mexico, and the human from the nonhuman. Birds, indigenous medicine, and repellent balloons all meet at the border fence, while migrants, border patrol officers, and border dwellers alike find varying representation in its deceptively simple symbolism. That interconnectedness emphasized by the artists undergirds not only the political activism inherent to the border discourse but also the modern environmental movement. It is at this juncture that I wish to place Repellent Fence and consider the specific overlaps between border art and ecological thinking.

In this vein, it helps to consider that Repellent Fence is a work of Land Art as well as a border installation. Remove the border fence, and the piece evokes comparisons to the canonical desert earthworks: the vertical spikes of Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field (1977), and the strict linearity of Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969), just to name two pertinent examples? Land Art in itself was a genre that concerned itself with boundaries and their transgression, rerouting the established power hierarchies and spatial circuits of the art world in favor of those places seen at the time as marginal (New Jersey, the Great Salt Lake, the Nevada desert, Marfa). In this sense, then. Postcommodity’s Repellent Fence can be construed as an extension of this 60s and 70s obsession with scale, sitedness, and movement. It is important to note, however, that the border installation was a temporary one, not intended to carve a lasting mark on the earth, as with Heizer’s Double Negative. In this sense, Postcommodity’s work is far more ecologically minded than those earlier land-based interventions. The most significant point of departure from the genre, however, is that categorizing Repellent Fence as Land Art privileges the work’s formal qualities at the expense of what it says about local knowledge. After all, ignoring the shifting territorial claims of the land beneath those yellow helium balloons enacts yet another erasure of indigenous histories.

The attention paid to indigenous histories, as well as the nod to nonhuman concerns through the use of the “scare-eye,” hints at the much broader panoply of interests present at this highly charged site. If we as humans conceive of the border as simply a line drawn on the map, a political distinction that has grown to encompass an increasingly militarized security apparatus, this places it within a purely anthropocentric framework. Such an argument voids the notion of border-as-habitat, in some areas a watershed, an estuary at its ends, with large swaths of desert in between. A “big, beautiful” border wall not only separates longstanding human communities, but also divides ecological niches. “Border,” then, is a touchpoint of what physicist and gender theorist Karen Barad terms “entanglement” - both discursively and materially constituted.4 In short. Repellent Fence is a work of border art that operates as what I term a border ecology.

Bol der ecology

Although border ecology’ aims to be more than the sum of its parts, it helps to break them down and clarify how I intend their use. “Ecology” is defined as the study of the interaction between an organism and its environment. That interaction can take into account many actors: organic and inorganic (or some combination thereof), biotic and abiotic, human and nonhuman alike. With the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and the birth of modern environmentalism in the West, ecology began to be conceived across disciplines as a mode of thinking as well as an area of study. My use of the term ecology is aligned with this turn toward “ecological thought”; aware of the interconnectedness of life on Earth, but reliant upon selective interactions and chains of events.

Borders are associated with interconnection, but also as points of difference. The term can refer to the boundary between two or more spaces, modes of being, belief systems, or other categories. Ecologically, the borders between biological communities are known as an ecotone, a space of transition that shifts with broader changes in climate. But borders are also gaps, blind spots, edges, and sites of marginality. I suggest conceiving of a given border line as a thickened space, with its own dimensions and materiality, and exerting tremendous influence on the production of art and visual culture. The center, here generalized, conceives of it as a liminal zone, the wild periphery, far from the grasp of the law, operating according to their own internal logic. In the logic of any given center, then, borders require maintenance, patrol, walls, and fences: a militarized guard. The border or borderlands, in this larger, looser definition, is traditionally the object of study. In general, postcolonial theory prioritizes the knowing nature of the object of study - particularly local and indigenous knowledge. Walter Mignolo’s aligned term “border thinking” describes an epistemological reversal.5 The “border,” an entity that is typically thought, must now be conceived of as active and itself thinking.

The relevance of this theory for my formulation of a border ecology rests on the idea that eco-art is a border genre. It is far outside the “mainstream” of contemporary art, and its lineage is that of the periphery, the transgressors, and alternative modes of art-making. Furthermore, border thinking, as I am presenting here, is at its core an opportunity to rethink preexisting power relations, those that drive the continued ecological crisis. In a 2014 interview with Tony Fry and Eleni Kalantidou, Mignolo elaborated on his earlier theorization, stating that

[w]e, the anthropos [the other], we dwell in borders with full awareness of the power differential "between” the two sides of the border, the side of the humanitas and the side of the anthropos. Border epistemology emerges from the experience, and the anger, of entanglement, border dwelling in a power differential. Briefly, border thinking requires a shift in the geography of reasoning, a geopolitical conception of knowing, understanding, and believing, a delinking from the assumption of modern and postmodern epistemology, hermeneutics and sensibility.


Here, Mignolo underscores the relationship between border thinking and disempowerment, as well as the massive geographical shift this mode of inquiry entails. Although border thinking erases the subject/object distinction, it depends on a continued imbalance, an osmotic flow of power and ideas, to generate its critical heft. In applying these ideas to the US-Mexico border art, a strange thing happens: the border becomes a truly generative site, one that, in its very thickness, creates a space for alternate modes of thinking, for a dismantling of power structures. Suddenly, it is the center that is hopelessly out of touch. The border has its own codes of behavior and signs of belonging, and it gives rise to new ways of conceptualizing that which lies beyond itself.

Mignolo’s metaphor is not concerned with the nonhuman factors that shaped the history of colonialism and postcolonialism. In this sense, the preexisting power dynamic between human and nonhuman actors remains firmly in place. What is lost is a full accounting of the agency of the border itself, beyond just its human inhabitants or its culture. Images of the border give a sense of its material: the stuff that comprises it, the metal of its fences, the desert sand, river currents, and mountain ranges that contribute to the experience of its crossing. In the case of the US-Mexico border, the climate of the Sonoran desert, the polluted waterways of Baja California, and the urban fences shape the political realities of

Border art for a border ecology 125 migration as well as the cultural and media forms that emerge from the region. Such an expanded conception of the border takes into account its composition as a conglomeration of humans, animals, and other living things. This activated border acquires agency not only through the actions of governmental entities, surveyors, and cartographers who establish and draw the line, but also through climatological and topographical factors. The desert crossings from Mexico to the United States are driven by economic factors and personal safety, but they are propelled by thirst, extreme heat, and the unforgiving terrain.

I believe the overlapping points between the animist rhetoric of border thinking that I am employing here and the nonhuman turn of new materialism have a tremendous potential to generate new understandings of politically motivated eco-art. Postcolonial sensitivity tempers the radical decentering of new materialist thought, an acknowledgment that human histories of inequality and structural imbalance do, in fact, matter, and have lasting effects on the object-driven landscape presented in the images. Consideration of the nonhuman, on the other hand, gives another dimension to border thinking, expanding its reach beyond that of the human border subject, or Mignolo’s anthropos. Instead, this combined approach encompasses a rich spectium of border dwellers. A border ecology, then, finds these new connections to make - not just between humans and nonhumans, and objects and things, but also between different modes of thinking about these objects. Because border ecology is constituted by art from the margins, and privileges the gaps, disjunctures, and interstitial spaces within a given piece, it changes the terms of the conversation.

To return to Postcommodity’s installation, it becomes clear that the work brings these kinds of ecological and nonhuman considerations to the political urgency of the border. The allusion to the bird repellent, the dialogue with the formal aspects of Land Art, and the insistence upon the significance of indigenous presence in the borderlands all work to create a portrait of the border as a site in which every position is marginal, with no single viewpoint privileged above the others. Bisecting the line, the Repellent Fence works to de-hierarchize a deeply overdetermined and securitized space. Such an intervention hints at the political potential of border art within a border ecology.

While Postcommodity’s intervention serves as a prime example of this theory, I wish to consider briefly the work of two borderland’s photographers as also constitutive of a border ecology. Daniel Leivick’s 2011 portfolio of panoramas at the Ajo Transect, located south of Phoenix, Arizona, and adjacent to the Tohono O’Odham Nation Reservation, presents an intriguing pairing with the Repellent Fence.6 One photograph, Border Patrol and Cave Dwellings, de-cent-ers the eponymous government agents, locating them within a vast and ancient landscape. A single road transects a desert valley, receding into the distance and engulfed by its surroundings. Hills flank each side of the composition, and a distant mountain range can be seen in the background. Human presence cannot be easily identified, other than the clues given in the title. The equal weighting of the border patrol with the cave dwellings serves to remind the viewer that human presence in this desert landscape takes multiple forms, and that, aswith the Repellent Fence, there is no single position of privilege from which to operate.

Susan Harbage Page operates in a manner that diverges from Leivick’s grand panoramas, but her attention to intersections of human and nonhuman at the border helps to broaden this concept of border art for a border ecology.7 Harbage Page photographs personal objects - a comb, an eyeshadow compact, a twisted gray sweatshirt - discarded by border crossers. These photographs in situ locate these effects as evidence of their owners' presence, testaments to the arduous nature of the journey and evidence of shared humanity. More intriguing, however, is the second life of these objects, for Harbage Page removes them from their site, brings them to her North Carolina studio, and documents them as part of an ongoing “anti-archive.” Devoid of context, a red bra lies on a white background understudio lighting, the grime caking its fabric seemingly incongruous in the setting. Each object brims with an inner life and narrative of its own. In the move from site to “non-site” (to paraphrase the land artist Robert Smithson), these objects become absorbed into the US interior, completing the border crossing that their owners may or may not have been able to finish. The series plays on the shifting identifications of these objects as belongings, trash, and art object, and their status is never fully settled.

The Scene of Crime

I discuss these series to hint at the richness of the discourse that border ecology can generate when applied to the US-Mexico border region and its political framework. Yet border ecology also exhibits tremendous potential to engage in the kind of South-South interactions that bypass traditional knowledge hierarchies and circuits of power. By placing these US-Mexico border site-specific works in dialogue with Amar Kanwar’s intervention in Odisha, India, I hope to draw connections centered on the question of indigenous land rights and visualizations of a border ecology. Kanwar’s 2011 film The Scene of Crime is the focal point of his multimedia Sovereign Forest installation (2012).s Exhibited temporarily at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the piece has a simultaneous permanent installation in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, hosted by the Samadrusti Media activist group. The 43-minute video juxtaposes scenes of the landscape in India's eastern state of Odisha with textual and sonic overlays, conveying a sense of precarity, an ecosystem on the edge. The pacing is slow, lingering on images mostly devoid of people. As with much of Kanwar’s work, there is no narrative to be gleaned from the images and no authoritative voice to interpret them. Instead, each visual is in dialogue with the others, set against the text and submerged in an ambient soundscape. The objects depicted are connected thr ough the mechanism of video and their shared precarity. The biopolitical ramifications of the conflict in Odisha extend not just to the humans dwelling within the forest, but its inhabitants at all levels. The Scene of Crime visualizes the ever-shifting boundaries between the legal system, the material world, and those entities (human and nonhuman alike) seeking representation.

The Scene of Crime is the stage set for crimes both past and future. The film’s introductory titles establish the stakes, informing the viewer of the contested nature of this landscape. Each location, Kanwar advises, is on the brink of destruction, along with its human and nonhuman inhabitants. In the 1990s, the state government laid the groundwork for the extraction of iron ore and bauxite reserves, setting up 600 mine lease areas (28).9 One such mining corporation, the UK-based Vedanta, was the target of widespread protests in the early twenty-first century. The Odisha natives decried what they saw as a recolonization of their territory, fueled by international capital. In 2010, the Supreme Court of India handed down a ruling that resulted in the repeal of clearance for the mine (44).10 Protestors continually work to keep out Vedanta, for in 2015, Narendra Modi’s BJP-led government passed an ordinance meant to make corporate land acquisition easier (47^8)."

With a focus on objects, Kanwar’s film initially appears to adhere to the logic of new materialism. Kanwar organizes The Scene of Crime into ten “maps” of varying lengths. Though not maps in the cartographic sense, these vignettes do chart a mental landscape, a dreamlike terrain. The use of “map” to organize the film also implies navigation, a sense of motion, and an intentionality to this movement. Kanwar leads the viewer on a journey with only these visual and auditory maps as clues. These maps generate connections, an approach that is at the core of Kanwar’s larger project. In an interview with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, Kanwar discussed the strange dialogue that happens between the different parts of the exhibition, and ultimately the different scenes of the film: “The moment you start actually relating and seeing inner narratives between and within what is around you, a different kind of memory emerges, a different kind of movement occurs in the mind.”12 The objects depicted are connected through the mechanism of video and their shared precarity. In Kanwar’s film, they speak a private language to each other, indiscernible to human viewers. The exploitation of Odisha’s resources, Kanwar’s film argues, will erase the kind of multifarious nonhuman epistemologies that comprise such a landscape.

The imagery that populates the film supports these conclusions. Tall grasses sway in the wind, silhouetted against an overexposed bleached-out sky. They move to the sound of water, of waves lapping on some unexplored shore. Closeups of the grasses throughout the film give a sense of a world in perpetual motion, alive with possibility and independent of the actions of corporate interests, states, and other entities. The camera focuses on another plant: a ripe berry, a spiked stem - hinting at a landscape in peril, but with a means to defend itself. Other scenes focus on a flowing river, industrial strucmres at night, cows making their way across a desert, a man on a bicycle seen through tall grasses. Such a disjunctive assortment of images falls on the ontographic technique of the list to draw connections and order them. Humans, animals, plants, and other nonhumans populate a world devoid of smooth transitions, an incomplete system that accounts for the separateness of each object but allows for their influence on each other.

In building this visual panoply, however, Kanwar’s film reveals itself as more than an exercise in new materialist thought and object-oriented ontologies. The images are overlaid with text that tells a parallel story, one that weaves with the images, often undermining or realigning them. The text re-encodes human power dynamics into the landscape - juxtaposed with the images, then, we see how Kanwar accounts for other knowledge - indigenous, nonhuman, and subaltern, within the standard narrative of land rights activism in Odisha. The titles allude to a disappearance, a presumed murder and an unnamed woman left behind to grieve. One phrase, "she sees him in everything,” gives the viewer a clue as to how to read the landscape imagery. It is both an establishment of the scene of crime as well as the search for what has been lost. Nineteen minutes into The Scene of Crime, Kanwar gives the viewer a sense of the “crime” under consideration: switching from his static camera to archival footage of men running with guns, frantically shouting. The camera shakes violently, as it captures a scene of protest and police action from behind foliage. This vantage point echoes earlier moments in the film in which the camera surveys a scene through grasses, palm fronds, or other plants. The archival footage ends, and the rhythm of the earlier scenes resumes. The camera focuses on a memorial marker, and then moves on to industrial structures, including a mine lit up in the darkness. The text then turns to intimations of violence and the larger conflict at hand: "He told her, we have a sound bomb/that would make a noise just to scare, without causing injury/she told him about the police and a Rapid Acquisition Force/ that would acquire the land within a day.” The final 6 minutes of the film build up to an extended shot of a picturesque tree framed against a wispy sky. A sea of velvet grasses lines the lower portion of the frame, “they talked about him for many months/and so began preparations for the trial/The Sovereign Forest vs. The Union of India.” A slow fade out begins, and then an abrupt cut to black.

This final text orients the viewer to the nature of the conflict that has, to this point in the video, only been referenced obliquely. Odisha is, by all metrics, at the margins of Indian politics and economic policy, one of the poorest states in the country (Macdonald et al., 45). Kanwar’s visuals, then, give viewers a glimpse of the margins of the margin - a double marginal status. The protests against Vedanta briefly cast the state and its tribal inhabitants into the national discourse. Prior to the agitation, Vedanta had acquired the homes and lands of 118 people, as well as the agricultural lands of another 1,220; if permitted, further mining would go on to destroy sacred tribal sites.13 With the invocation of the upcoming “trial,” The Scene of Crime invokes the court cases that decided the forest’s fate.

The interplay of image and text gives the film its rhetorical heft and a direction for its critique. The violence enacted upon the landscape is also directed at its inhabitants. It is an outgrowth of the destructive force of colonialism “built into this founding moment .... It transposed political demands onto a time axis that forced the indigenous population to inhabit life-worlds that have never been theirs, while at the same time preventing them from fully making them their own.”14 Not solely a visual poem of interconnected imagery that hints at a landscape on the brink of destruction, The Scene of Crime serves as a testimony, hinting at the richness of these life-worlds - entanglements of human and nonhuman alike - that have been lost to the demands of a rapidly modernizing state.

In being forced to inhabit such different life-worlds, the tribal inhabitants of the forest undergo a process of de- and reclassification. In India, their status is alternately referred to as “scheduled,” legally marking their existence as disadvantaged. At the same time, preservationist rhetoric permeates the committee report about the land’s status. To return to the Postcommodity installation on the US-Mexico border, the 1848 dividing line enacts a similar reclassification, separating the inhabitants of the contested territory into US and Mexican citizens, with no regard for family ties, tribal status, or language. Each of these artworks - the border installation, the panoramic photographs, and Kanwar’s film - hints at how the state’s desire to classify its citizens into distinct categories fails on every level. Tribal lands evade binary distinctions, not falling into either “culture” or “nature,” but occupying both realms simultaneously. This slippage applies to the occupants of these lands and has material effects on their legal rights.

This chapter has considered what happens when artists and art historians stop thinking in terms of “border art” and instead reorient toward a “border ecology.” Bringing the human and nonhuman into exchange with each other serves to destabilize traditional hierarchies and recognize the importance of non-Western epistemologies to analyze highly contested sites. The lens of ecology, and the modes of thinking this entails, encourages consideration of the role of nonhumans - be they inflatable balloons, predatory birds, discarded combs, or the landscape itself - as equal interests in the conversation. At the same time, histories of human inequality remain encoded in these locations, and as such must overlay any attempts to fully de-hierarchize the land.


  • 1 Balibar. 217.
  • 2 See Sheren, pp. 90-113, for more on The Cloud.
  • 3 For more on Land Art and its relationship to ecological thought, see Nisbet.
  • 4 Barad, 39-70.
  • 5 Mignolo’s explanation of “border thinking” can be found in Mignolo, 9-10.
  • 6 Leivick’s portfolio can be accessed at sect.
  • 7 Harbage Page’s series Objects in the Landscape and the Anti-Archive can be accessed at
  • 8 Although Kanwar’s film is not available online, a video walkthrough of the Sovereign Forest installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park can be found at com/watch? v=0 Schgxoej Kc.
  • 9 Zyman, 28.
  • 10 Macdonald et al., 44.
  • 11 Macdonald et al., 47-48. Modi’s stance on the enviromnent is a complex one, as his government has also undertaken significant measures to combat pollution. At the same time, the BJP remains firmly on the side of corporate interests.
  • 12 Obrist and Kanwar, 68.
  • 13 Macdonald et al., 46.
  • 14 Halkort, 63.

Works cited

Balibar, Etienne. “The Borders of Europe.” Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation, edited by Peng Cheah and Bruce Robbins, University of Minnesota Press, 1998,216-231.

Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke University Press, 2007.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Mariner Books, 2002.

Fry, Tony, et al. “An Exchange: Questions from Tony Fry and Eleni Kalantidou and Answers from Walter Mignolo.” Design in the Borderlands, edited by Eleni Kalantidou and Tony Fry, Routledge, 2014, 173-188.

Halkort, Monika. “Expressive Sovereignty.” Amar Kanwar — The Sovereign Forest, edited by Daniela Zyman, Sternberg Press, 2015, 59-64.

Macdonald, Kate, et al. “Demanding Rights in Company-Community Resource Extraction Conflicts: Examining the Cases of Vedanta and POSCO in Odisha, India.” Demanding Justice in the Global South: Claiming Rights, edited by Jean Grugel, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 43-67.

Mignolo, Walter D. Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking. Princeton University Press, 2000.

Montiel, Anya. “Mending the Border: The Indigenous Eye of Postcommodity.” NMAI Magazine, 2017, -eye-postcommodity.

Nisbet, James. Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s. MIT Press, 2014.

Obrist, Hans Ulrich, and Amar Kanwar. “Arhcipelic Thinking — Amar Kanwar in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist.” Amar Kanwar — The Sovereign Forest, edited by Daniela Zyman, Sternberg Press, 2015, 65-84.

Postcommodity, “Repellent Fence -2015.” h.html.

Sheren, Ila N. Portable Borders: Performance Art and Politics on the U.S. Frontera since 1984. University of Texas Press, 2015.

Zyman, Daniela. “Undermining Sovereignty: Three Emergences Within Amar Kanwar’s The Sovereign Forest.” Amar Kanwar — The Sovereign Forest, edited by Daniela Zyman, Sternberg Press, 2015, 27-32.

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