Border Cantos | Sonic Border

Border Cantos I Sonic Border is a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican American sculptor/composer Guillermo Galindo. Photographer Richard Misrach and composer/artist Guillermo Galindo began collaborating in 2011, after both artists had created bodies of work inspired by the Mexican-American border region and its human impact.

Misrach’s large-scale photographs beautifully capture the various types of landscapes, textures, and experiences found across the almost 2,000-mile dividing line. But, by showing moments of disruption on the land, they also introduce a complicated look at policing the boundary. Galindo’s installation Sonic Border is an original score for eight instruments, created out of discarded objects found and collected at the border.

The composition embraces the pre-Columbian belief that there was an intimate connection between an instrument and the material from which it was made, with no separation between spiritual and physical worlds. Based on the Mesoamerican “Venus calendar,” Sonic Border plays for a total of 260 minutes and is separated into 13 cycles of 20 minutes. Within these cycles, the instruments play in small groups of two or more, or all together as an orchestra.

When experienced as a whole, the images, instruments, and emanating sounds create an immersive space in which to look, listen, and learn about the complicated issues surrounding the Mexican-American border. While the artists do not seek to provide the solution, they do provide insight into a place that most people have never ventured and create a poignant connection that draws on our humanity

Use the links below to examine the historical context of current issues associated with the Mexican-American Border from 1848 to the present by viewing a history of the border compiled by Pilar M. Herr, PhD, Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

Other Border Wall (OBW) Virtual Exhibition

During the run of Border Cantos | Sonic Border, Other Border Wall (OBW) presents a virtual exhibition highlighting their work on borders locally and nationally. To view OBW Project Virtual Exhibition, click here. 

Also, check out these Other Border Wall podcast episodes pertaining to the Border Cantos | Sonic Border exhibition:

Border Cantos I Sonic Border is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

Support for this exhibition has been provided by Art Bridges, the Hillman Exhibition Fund of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and Opportunity Fund.