UCSD and UABC students simultaneously annotate maps of their campuses and the region between them. The mapping event is followed by a conversational lunch with an in-depth investigation between the differences in campus: cultures, art, privileges, and border related matters.

Transnational Seminar I

The 15-week Transnational Seminar I – Art & Ethnography was held weekly with participants crossing the US/MX Border and convening as a nomadic studio in locations across both cities. This was an experiment in assembling a group of students from colleges on both sides of the US/ MX border to work collaboratively using methods from contemporary art and ethnographic self-study to gain a deeper understanding of one another and our varied relationships with the borderlands region of Tijuana-San Diego. The group’s efforts consisted of collectively experiencing artworks, texts, exercises, and an ongoing dialog and exchange towards the development of a public-focused art production series: 

Art Interventions and Participatory Performance
Participants individually identified concerns within their own communities and conducted site-specific art interventions to address them together with support of the full group. The group also presented the Poetic Exploration of Race Survey, a participatory event created to probe, jostle, and ultimately better understand a wider range of the race/ethnicity and class experience of people in our region.
Publication as Public Art
Participants conducted autoethnographic interviews and interviews of residents within their own communities towards the development of 84 Interviews with Residents of Tijuana-San Diego. The publication was produced as a collection of bound broadsheets to function as a complete text, or to be separated and redistributed locally. Publication: (linked here).
Participants and Locations
The participants of the Tranational Seminar I are an interdisciplinary team of students who applied to the project from: Southwestern Community College (SWC), Chula Vista; Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana (UABC); and University of California San Diego (UCSD), La Jolla. All participants received college credit from their respective colleges.
The locations that served to host the 5-hour long seminar sessions in Tijuana included: Out Here Gallery (Art Gallery and Studio of Luisa Martínez and David Peña); Estación Federal (Public, Retail, Living and Co-Working Space); Casa de Las Ideas- Tijuana Innavadora (Library and Multimedia Cultural Center); UABC (Public University); and CECUT (Tijuana Cultural Center). In San Diego the locations included: MCASD (Contemporary Art Museum), UCSD (Public University), SWC (Community College), San Diego Central Public Library (Contemporary Art Gallery and Media Center), and the studio-home of Collective Magpie.
This project was supported by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and an Exploring Engagement Grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

Participants dressed in matching blue coats with a sign that read “Where is the Border? and road the trolley from downtown San Diego to San Ysidro and back. They exchanged their own definitions of the word “border.” In turn “Where is the Border?” was asked to passengers and some responses were collected as notes and attached to the sign. Conversation between passengers and participants ensued.
100 + Posters with the definition of the word ‘borderlands’ were posted throughout the campus ahead of the event. Participants dressed as crossing guards -in florescent vests with stop signs, whistles, and megaphone- to engaged the bustling mid-day campus crowd. Passersby were asked to use the word ‘border’ in a sentence. The collected sentences were continually announced over the megaphone.
Two kiosks with the questions: What do you want for yourself? What is your struggle? What is your goal in this college? Share your daily struggle. were placed in different locations across the campus over 2 weeks. The resulting hundreds of messages were collected and used in a collaborative drawing event and open forum conversation.


//Interactive Timeline// with Local, Global, and Transnational Seminar events that informed our collaborative production.


Jan 20
US Government Shutdown

(click here to article)

Jan 20
@Centro Cultural Tijuana + with Relaciones Inesperadas

Forum with artists from both sides of the border to discuss concerns and responses from cultural producers on the effect of Trump’s campaign/upcoming presidency as it pertains to the local US/MX relationship.

(click here to video )
Jan 23
As Trump continues to insist on building a 30 foot wall across the entire southern border of the US, a Japanese art collective builds a treehouse in Tijuana where people can peeks across the border.

(click here to article )

Jan 23
The transational public art project GLOBOS (hosted by The New Childrenʼs Museum 2015-2017 in San Diego) opens a twin exhibition Golden Globe, at Museo El Trompo, in Tijuana. The effort to construct a fleet of unmanned hot air balloons to be launched over the US/MX border through intergenerational workshops on both sides of the border continues...

(click here to catalog)    

Jan 23
Women’s March (anti-Trump) largest single day protest in US History. In response to Trump’s misogyny, allegations of sexual abuse, and the Republican platform limiting women’s rights.

(click here to article )

Jan 23
Site scouting for locations to host the Transnational Seminar in Tijuana.

Collective Magpie partners with Casa de las Ideas/Tijuana Innovadora, an innovative library, cultural and media art center.


Tijuana Seminar host site scouting visits to Tijuana:
CECUT, Tijuana Cultural Center

Tijuana Seminar host site scouting visits to Tijuana:
Estación Federal, coworking spaces

Tijuana Seminar host site scouting visits to Tijuana:
Relaciones Inesperadas and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), art programs


Tae Hwang & MR Barnadas of Collective Magpie discussion with Marisol Rendon, artist and Professor of Arts, Communication & Social Sciences at Southwestern College about the art department hosting a Transnational Seminar public event

Anti-travel ban protests breakout at US airports across the country

Boiling over on the border: The reasons behind the gasoline protests in Mexico


UCSD Students Protest President Trump’s Immigration Ban



Transnational Seminar begins
Tour of MCASD: Dimensions of Black
Post tour museum survey and discussion

Chris Marker, Sans Soleil

Feb 4
Visit to Museum of Jurassic Technology
, Culver City
Conversation on curiosities, every day- How do fact and fiction work to expose truth?

Feb 17
Border Interviews Begin
Audience Engagement Discussion with Cris Scorza, MCASD

Melissa Fisher Presentation: Who and what is MCASD? Introduction to website, ecollection, exhibitions, permanent collection.

Feb 10
SD Trolley Performance:
Participants road the Trolley from downtown San Diego to San Ysidro and back with a 6’ x3’ free standing sign that read “Where is the Border.” Participants dressed in matching blue coats asked this question to passengers and collected responses. It was noted that passengers interpreted this question as interchangeable with Trump’s plan to build the borderwall. Conversation between passengers and participants ensued.


Feb 24
Globos Workshop at Estacion Federal, Tijuana

PsychoGeography Video Presentations
(how does where you live shape you?)

Border Interviews Continue


*see pt 2 here