Incendiary Traces
The Southern California landscape has always been in question. It has served the purpose of different narratives and provided the backdrop for numerous conflicts, both real and imagined. Artists, explorers, speculators, even military strategists have used our polyglot landscape to voice and define our relationship to place, history and memory.

Conceived by artist Hillary Mushkin, Incendiary Traces is a conceptually driven, community-generated art project that explores the political act of representing the Southern California landscape by creating a series of “draw-in” events in different locations across the region, from the border between U.S. and Mexico to San Clemente Island and beyond.

The project, which is developing an archive of images, uses our real and symbolic affiliations with the subtropics as a starting point to bring home connections between Southern California and political “hot spots” in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America and beyond. The archive includes drawings, ephemera, public events, sounds, and other forms of expression that reach beyond mainstream representations of these geographies. Through engaged and embodied acts of image and sound-making, Incendiary Traces aims to bring us closer to seemingly remote international conflicts. We are seeking collaborators in its development.

Follow along with Incendiary Traces at their website.
Imagining Global War: Popular Cartography During World War II
Imagining Global War: Popular Cartography During World War II
Incendiary Traces looks at the cartographic representations of WWII in the 1940s, providing historical context for understanding our own conception of global space.
Incendiary Traces: Sketching Simulated Battlefields in Silicon Beach
Incendiary Traces: Sketching Simulated Battlefields in Silicon Beach
Incendiary Traces pays a virtual visit to an Afghani village to make the seemingly remote conflict a bit more comprehensible to those in the U.S.
Visualizing War: Virtual Reality, Simulations, and Physical Battlefields
Visualizing War: Virtual Reality, Simulations, and Physical Battlefields
Simulations in computer games and virtual reality are radically altering the way the military prepares soldiers for war.
Incendiary Traces: Artists, Surveillance and Patrol at the Border
Incendiary Traces: Artists, Surveillance and Patrol at the Border
Incendiary Traces visited the Mexico/U.S. Border to view the border from the perspective of U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Crossing the Line: A History of Medical Inspection at the Border
Crossing the Line: A History of Medical Inspection at the Border
In the early 1900s, medical inspection and photographic documentation ushered in a new set of surveillance procedures for state oversight at the U.S.-Mexico border.
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California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

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Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

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Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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