Interactive Art

Cross Coordinates (MX-US)

Price: Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Ivan Abreu (MX)


Cyberarts 2012 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2012

This bi-national project is about a delicate game with an uncommon dynamic. Two players win or two players lose a game with only one way of winning: to collaborate and balance with your opponent. During a month-long residency at the University of Texas at El Paso, the artist filmed scores of border residents as they played a game of cooperation by balancing a specially designed carpenter’s spirit-level between them. The delicacy and difficulty of this task, and the goodwill and cooperation of the players, reflected the delicate balance of life on the border. During the four-month exhibition of the piece at the Rubin Center, gallery visitors played the same game using a different level, with an electronic device attached that detected balance and logged the face-to-face play time onto a data base and converted it to meters of cooperation. The goal of participation was to exceed the length of the US-Mexico border (3,169,000m). The final score at the gallery was 70,865 meters. 

Afterwards, the project continued with a website application to keep up the goal of overtaking the length of the border. The website application adds meters under the following rules: 1) the time in the site accumulates meters, 2) sharing duplicates the meters accumulated during the visit, and 3) the number of simultaneously connected people accelerates the account in an exponential way. The website’s content is an open documentation based on an online video of 10:24 min., which can be modified by publishing overlapping and synchronous opinions to the video. On March 16, 2011, people were summoned to an online meeting to achieve the initial goal of the game installed in the gallery. Over four hours, around 1,500 people raised the score to 15 million meters, over four times the length of the Mexico-US border, constructing a gesture in community to support the balance and the possibility of collaboration between two cities, countries or points of view.

Concept, design and programming: Ivan Abreu
Curators: Kerry Doyle and Karla Jasso
Exhibition: "Contra flujo: Independence and Revolution", August, 2010 Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso
Production Team:
Ciudad Juarez (MX)
Adriana Román (Teacher)
Angel Estrada
Claudia de la Rosa
Francisco J. Aguilera Martínez
Gabriela Durán (Teacher)
León de la Rosa (Teacher)
Oliver García Tavizón
Oscar Nodal
El Paso (US)
Alfredo Chavez
Christopher Mortenson
Cynthia Campos
Cynthia Evans
Erika Ruelas
Eunice Ortiz
Fernando Mena
Halley De Santiago
Irene Macias
Lirio Silva
Maria Elena Castaneda
Rasmiyeh Asam
Victor Sanchez
Zenia Acuna
Presidente Dr. Diana Natalicio
Kate Bonansinga, Director
Kerry Doyle, Assistant Director
Daniel Szwaczkowski, Preparator
Vanessa Juarez, PR Student Intern
Ana Castañon, PR Student Intern
Andres Payan, Graphic Design Student Intern Karina Tovar, Graphic Design Student Intern