PSJM is a team of creation, theory and management formed by Cynthia Viera (Las Palmas G.C., 1973) and Pablo San José (Mieres, 1969).

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Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration

This work comes from PSJM’s series «social geometry», whose minimal compositions are based on statistical data. The mural work depicts the U.S. immigration flows by country from 1820 to 2010 rendered in two different points of view. The front side of the wall, «U.S. Immigration Flows by Country from 1820 to 2010», shows the largest immigration waves charted over time, showing the progression.

Dark blue: Ireland; Blue: Germany; Clear blue: U.K.;
Green: Italy; Clear green: Russia; Yellow-green: Hungary;
Orange: Canada; Dark orange: Mexico;
Dark pink: Cuba; Pink: Philippines; Clear pink: China.

While it may seem that immigration over the last few decades has been higher than ever before (highlighting Mexican immigration), the picture looks very different when seen in relation to the size of the U.S. population. In the shadows, the back of the wall represents the same data, but with the immigration shown as a percentage of the U.S. population. Then we can see that European immigration (Ireland, U.K. and Germany) appears as something like an invasion.

In order to show these two points of view of the same reality, it was necessary to build a wall (made of wood and painted, in the way that it is usually panelled in museums). Of course, the subtle reference to «the need of building a wall» plays a key role in the meaning of this artwork, which speaks about a hot topic, highlighting the relativity of data hermeneutics and the ideology that leads it.

Artpace, San Antonio, Texas.

Site-specific for Beyond the Wall, curated by Adonay Bermúdez