Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT) repurposes inexpensive used mobile phones that have GPS antennae. The project approximates a code-switch, a queer technology. Its software aspires to guide “the tired, the poor,” the dehydrated—citizens of the world—to water safety sites. Concomitantly, its platform offers poetic audio sustenance.
Incapable of resolving the long histories of fear, prejudice and misunderstanding on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border, TBT remembers the often overlapping traditions of transcendental and nature writing, earthworks, conceptual art, performance, border art, locative media, and visual and concrete poetries. It also learns from the efforts of humanitarian aid organizations like Water Station, Inc. and Border Angels. Poetry-in-motion, TBT navigates the borderlands of G.P.S. as a “global positioning system” and what, in another context, Laura Borràs Castanyer and Juan B. Gutiérrez refresh as a “global poetic system.”