Citizens of Earth is an installation proposed for the city of Marfa Texas. The location for the project would be positioned approximately 20 miles outside of Marfa on the border of Mexico and the United States.Famous for its arts and humanities, artworks and large-scale installations from Don Judd, Dan Flavin, Elmgreen & Dragset, Jeff Elrod, John Wesley, Robert Irwin, Charline von Heyland many more are found within and around this desert community of 1700 residents. The intention of the project is to question the value of international borders within the context of the 21st century. The socio-political rationalization for borders drawn on the earthhave proven throughout history to be problematic. War, poverty, famine, disease, political and economic instability, terrorism, environmental degradation, racism, genocide and much more are all byproducts of the ceaseless reinforcement of borders.
Currently, countries, societies, and communities are becoming increasingly polarized. The military strategy of divide and conquer is being implemented around the globe by governments, corporations and the media in an attempt to separate us by stressing our differences. Feeding on division, insecurity and fear pushing us further into isolated corners of apathy and indifference towards our neighbor. So the question becomes, what if there were no more borders? What would it take for mankind to shift from me to we? What if we all understood ourselves as citizens of earth working towards a common purpose? What would our new unified purpose be?
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, President Ronald Reagan states “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside of this world.”Twenty-sevenyears later, in 2014President Bill Clinton spoke of the possible existence of alien species out there in the ever-expanding universe. He finished the interviewwith a statement, “It may be the only way to unite this increasingly divided world of ours,” he said. And by “it" he meant an alien invasion from space.The installation for the desert of Marfa would be a polished steeldisc that appears to hover in the desert, gently reflecting the surrounding border of the United States and Mexico. At times the disc appears to vanish depending on the time of day and lighting conditions seamlessly assimilating into the landscape blurring the distinction between light and dark, solid and void, sky and earth, United States and Mexico.
Its form is reminiscent of the flying saucer typology, first reported in1947 in the US. Figuratively and literally, the disc reflects our existence on this planet. It suggests that if we are not alone in the universe that we must represent ourselves as one united civilization. If the properties that govern the universe are borderless we must begin to evolve our understanding of ourselves within its architecture. A new perspective on borders would be in an effort to secure the future of humanity on earth and beyond. The disc stands a symbolof our humanity as citizens of earth.