To be territorial is to assert a relationship between ourselves and a place. These bonds fortify a sense of meaning and identity. For may years, Southern California has represented a cultural and geographical centre: the birthplace of “cool,” a place of endless gold, sun, beaches and possibilities. A mythical image of the promised land, the ideal lifestyle.
It also represents the last place I visited before being deported and banned from the United States in 2017.
“Next to you (in-malibu.mx)” is a longing for a place that I can’t physically access. The title is borrowed from the lyrics of “Malibu,” a Miley Cyrus song that is lypsinged by an avatar version of me based on the metric information on my FBI profile. This looping video exists in the same Pacific Time Zone as the live stream of Malibu beach that accompanies it, with the official documents of my deportation functioning as a failed physical barrier.
With the live streamed audio and video coming from a “Designed in California” iMac and the employment of furniture designed by California’s most celebrated designers, Charles and Ray Eames, subtle acts of terriotiralisation in which objects gain meaning from their ties to the maker and place occur during the installation.
Part website/part installation, with the current possibilities of being mobile and remote, of disengaging from a place, of simultaneous existence, what is the meaning of a physical barrier in times of cultural globalisation?