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 and on Facebook.
The Journey to Border Monument Number 140
The Journey to Border Monument Number 140
David Taylor set out to photograph each of the 276 obelisks installed by the International Boundary Commission following the Mexican/American War.
A Brief History of Border Walls
A Brief History of Border Walls
Incendiary Traces lists historical and contemporary border walls to provide some global and historical context for understanding Southern California's contested US/Mexico border.
Drawing a Line: Encounters with the U.S.-Mexico Border
Drawing a Line: Encounters with the U.S.-Mexico Border
Susanna Newbury examines the history of the U.S./Mexico border and its geopolitical importance to the United States.
Report on an Incendiary Traces Draw-in at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Headquarters
Report on an Incendiary Traces Draw-in at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Headquarters
Incendiary Traces gathered at Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Headquarters to contemplate looking, drawing, recording, and representing landscape at the home of military "sight."
Drawing with Satellites: Tracing Landscapes With a Mission
Drawing with Satellites: Tracing Landscapes With a Mission
Incendiary Traces considers crisis mapping as another form of visualization that can help us, as ordinary citizens, understand seemingly remote wars.
section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

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

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline


Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline


Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline


A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline


Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

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

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