how many euphemisms
for prison are there?
by eliseo ortiz
My work deals with challenging the boundaries of what is possible in places that are politicized. United States Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Health and Human Services, a handful of private corporations, and many local enforcement agencies across the country detain and incarcerate thousands of migrants every year. As a result, immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees entering the United States have to deal with a space that is designed to surveil, persecute, process, and exclude them. In response, I launched an online platform called The Foundations of Detention to track the operations of all the immigration detention centers in the United States. This poem shows the geographic coordinates of all of these prisons along with entries about my experiences visiting and photographing them.
Eliseo Ortiz is a Mexican media artist, filmmaker, and scholar. He holds an MFA in Media Arts Production from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is currently a PhD student in Emergent Technologies and Media Arts Practices at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His work has been presented in Mono No Aware in New York City, Centro Cultural Tlatelolco in Mexico City, and Currents New Media in Santa Fe. His work has been supported by Fulbright and the National Fund for Culture and Arts of Mexico.