Today, creators of the Transborder Immigrant Tool announced the release of their book containing the code and poems that power this inventive and potentially life-sustaining tool. Developed by the Electronic Disturbance Theatre while in residence at B.A.N.G. lab at University of California, San Diego, the Transborder Immigrant Tool is a mobile app developed for use on inexpensive phones that offer immigrants crossing the U.S./Mexico border on foot navigation to water stations in the desert using visual and sound cues. Once a traveler activates the app, the phone locates the nearest water cache using GPS and begins guiding the user towards the water using a compass and poems.
I can’t imagine I need to explain my absence from the Jacket2 site, other than to myself, but just in case... I didn’t drop off the face of the earth (as those of you expecting a twice-weekly post might have thought—though I suspect “those of you” are really only me, and long ago I ceased actually expecting to meet my own expectations, much as I might yearn—however uslessly—to do so or feel irked—however unendingly—by not doing so), but I did cross the border between San Ysidro and Tijuana through a runoff tunnel (i.e. sewage culvert) underneath a binational (trinational if you also count the strip of no-man’s land between the two massive fences as a “nation”) border patrol access road. This past weekend, with my compañero in the world of language justice organizing, John Pluecker, I worked as an interpreter with Political Equator 3, the cross-border urban ecologies conference organized by Estudio Teddy Cruz.