Part of the
exhibition

Freedom of Movement Municipal Art Acquisitions 2018

25 Nov 2018 until 17 Mar 2019

Mini story — 23 Nov 2018

In his three-channel video installation Non-Linear Trajectories, Juan Arturo García examines the architectural, technological, and linguistic regimes that shape immigration and integration policies. The videos are made up of 3D scans created with photos the artist took in the Amsterdam office of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND), and they offer a glitchy, uncanny representation of the office’s bright green waiting room. By taking 3D imaging tools and techniques—which are often used by states for surveillance purposes—and directing them back towards the authorities, García shifts the object of scrutiny away from the figure of the immigrant. At the same time, he calls attention to what is lost when spaces and individuals are translated into pure visual information. 

Juan Arturo García, "Non-Linear Trajectories" (trailer), 2018.

García developed Non-Linear Trajectories in response to xenophobia in Europe and the United States, which has only increased as politicians continue to call for tighter restrictions on migration and heightened border security. In addition to video, the work also includes Spanish-language audio of individuals narrating their immigration experiences. These stories, which are drawn both from the news and from García’s own experience, conjure the intense sense of conflict at the US-Mexican border, and the degree to which it is both personal and collective. By juxtaposing these narratives with the renderings of the Amsterdam IND office, García encourages a broader consideration of migration politics, and recasts borders as physical spaces of face-to-face encounter, rather than lines drawn on maps. 

Juan Arturo García, "Non-Linear Trajectories", 2018, tri-channel HD video, color, sound, 6 minutes, courtesy the artist.
Juan Arturo García, "Non-Linear Trajectories", 2018, tri-channel HD video, color, sound, 6 minutes, courtesy the artist.
Juan Arturo García, "Non-Linear Trajectories", 2018, tri-channel HD video, color, sound, 6 minutes, courtesy the artist.
Juan Arturo García, "Non-Linear Trajectories", 2018, tri-channel HD video, color, sound, 6 minutes, courtesy the artist.

The videos that comprise Non-Linear Trajectories are installed within a structure composed of translucent polycarbonate walls, which visually reference the frosted glass partitions commonly found in government offices and corporate architecture. The structure further references the temporary architecture often found in rescue shelters and refugee camps. The videos are only fully visible from inside the enclosure; outside of it, forms and colors are heavily obscured. Through this division, the installation mimics the sense of exclusion felt by immigrants waiting for resolution about their residency status. Combining visual, audio, and architectural elements, García’s work explores the emotional fabric of immigration from a perspective that is deeply personal, while also reflecting the experiences of many others.

About the artist

Juan Arturo García (1988, Mexico) studied at Centro de Diseño, Cine y TV and the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. He is currently a student in the Shadow Channel master’s program at Sandberg Instituut/Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Trained as a designer, García has participated in seminars and workshops at venues including Centro Artístico Fotográfico, Mexico City; School of Visual Arts, New York; Triple Canopy, New York; and ArtEZ Academy of Art & Design, Arnhem. He has been published in Centro de Diseño’s academic journal Economía Creativa, and contributed to Dispersión, a book published by Fundación Alumnos47.