David Taylor (b. 1965)
selections from Working the Line series
2010
Archival Inkjet Prints

In 2006, the United States Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, which authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take robust measures to secure and control the U.S.-Mexico border. The extensive permissions given to DHS included: the authorization to build up to 700 miles of border fence; the ability to develop new infrastructure to promote border security; and the ability to use modern surveillance technologies to achieve “operational control” of the border. It is in this context that David Taylor began photographing the U.S.-Mexico border in his series Working the Line. Traveling both alone and in the company of Border Patrol agents, Taylor documents the infrastructure used by the United States Border Patrol to police the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, including seismic sensors, ground scanning radars, and video surveillance. Although Taylor’s images are largely devoid of people, the technologies used to monitor and control bodies loom large, giving viewers glimpses into the elaborate infrastructures utilized by U.S. Border Patrol.


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Contingent Perimeters is curated by Alexis Herrera. This exhibition is supported by the Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch fund at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. It was developed as part of the Guest Instagram Curator Program. To see the Instagram exhibition and learn more, please click here.