Lucy Petrovic, Johnie Hugh Horn: Desert Views, Desert Deaths

  • ©,



    Desert Views, Desert Deaths


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    Desert Views, Desert Deaths is an ongoing memorial for those who are dying in the Sonoran Desert while crossing the US-México border. Strict enforcement of border crossings has forced immigrants away from the main routes they have taken in the past to more remote desert locations. In the summer, daytime desert temperatures reach 100-120 degrees F. for more than three consecutive months. Every year, a record number of people die of heat exhaustion and dehydration while crossing the border. This year, hundreds more will die. When you enter this immersive environment, you are in the middle of an
    elusive graveyard of crosses. In the distance, you can see translucent, overlapping caskets composed of desert images. As you enter the life – size caskets, you see the names of those who have died of heat exhaustion and dehydration while crossing the border. As you follow the caskets, you find more information about those who died along the way. While traversing the surreal landscape, sounds of the desert
    follow you as you move through your journey. The goal of this project is to affect our cultural transactions using technology that encourages critical discourse for serious expression. It is designed to promote human collaboration and understanding with the assistance of technology.

Technical Information:

    Desert Views, Desert Deaths is an immersive, interactive virtual-reality environment programmed using CAVE libraries on a one-wall CAVE system. It consists of a Linux PC dual processor computer with an NVIDIA graphics card using a passive stereoscopic 5-foot x 7-foot rear-projection screen, two DLP 2000 lumens projectors, two speakers, stereoscopic glasses, and an interactive device. Software includes
    VRCO, Inc.’s CAVE libraries and SGI OpenGL Performer. The system allows up to 10 people to experience the work at the same time.