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Bowie hosts international art installation

Border Tuner at Bowie  Border Tuner at Bowie

Border Tuner at Bowie  Border Tuner at Bowie

(BOWIE HIGH SCHOOL Nov 13, 2019) — Bowie High School will play a major role in one of the largest public art installations ever to be displayed along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Border Tuner, a bi-national art installation that will link El Paso and Juárez using beams of light and a slew of shared activities, will kick off its 12-day run in the Borderland starting Wednesday night. The installation is by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. 

The interactive art installation is based out of Bowie High School in El Paso, and the Parque El Chamizal in Juárez. 

Organizers said Bowie is the perfect host for Border Tuner, specifically because of the school’s significance to the Border community.

“Bowie is a dynamic high school in the heart of El Paso,” said curator Kerry Doyle, the director of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Arts. “Historically and in the present day, it reflects the great mix of culture and language that makes up the rich heritage of our borderland. Its proximity to the border fence and its location adjacent to the Chamizal National Park enhances its central role in El Paso’s identity.” 

Lozano-Hemmer spent two years preparing Border Tuner, an installation that hopes to foster and make visible the dialogue across the U.S.-Mexico border.  On Wednesday night, the community will get a sneak peek of Border Tuner by visiting either location to maneuver various bridges of lights that shine up to 10 miles across the border. 

When lights from either of the two sites are directed at each other, powerful bridges of light and sound are created – activating microphones and speakers – allowing participants to communicate with one another and creating a cross-border connection and communication. These lights will be open from 6:30 to 11 p.m. every evening through Nov. 24. 

The first 30 minutes of each evening beginning Thursday will feature themed programming that includes: cumbia, LGBT, migrants, poetry, hip-hop, art, feminism, orchestra, Bowie-Chamizal, agriculture, indigenous groups and the environment. 

Bowie’s proximity to the border made it an ideal location on the U.S. side to host the event. The Oso Good Food truck will be among the featured groups throughout the event and students also will be performing on Nov. 20.

As part of the programming, Bowie students will get to work alongside with peers from Juarez’s Preparatoria Altavista and COBACH 19 schools.

For the full schedule and more information, go to

Story by Reneé de Santos
Photos by Border Tuner