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‘Scary Eye’ Balloon Fence Crosses Over Two Miles of U.S. Mexico Border

Intersecting the Arizona and Sonora borders of the United States and Mexico, a three-team artist collective known as PostCommodity has created a two-mile-long work of art called Repellent Fence. The work, created by indigenous artists Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L.Twist, consists of 26 10-foot-diameter ‘scare eye’ balloons floating 50 feet above the border.

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According to the artists on their website, the intention of Repellent Fence is “to organize a network of dialogues between indigenous, United States, and Mexican publics and their government agencies, in order to ... identify and support indigenous and border community interests, desires, concerns, and goals for creating a more safe, healthy, and culturally appropriate borderlands environment for its citizens.”

A three-team artist collective known as PostCommodity has created a two-mile-long work of art called Repellent Fence. The work, created by indigenous artists Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L.Twist, consists of 26 10-foot-diameter ‘scare eye’ balloons floating 50 feet above the border. Photo: PostCommodity.com

The idea for the project came after Martinez’s wife purchased a “scary eye’ balloon online to thwart birds from bombarding their fig tree. The balloon was a failure in that regard, but Martinez noticed the Indigenous colors of the balloon and the idea for Repellent Fence was conceived.

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As Martinez told the LA Times, "It was a party in the backyard everyday when the figs were ripe," he said. "The iconography on the balloon is indigenous iconography," he explains. "It's called an 'open eye' and it's a pattern that is used from South America to Canada.... Another thing is the colors. It just so happens that the balloons use Indian medicine colors."

Twist (Cherokee) also said, "Here's this consumer object that is laden with meaning and it's being used to scare away birds — which, traditionally, are considered spiritual mediators."

The artists were able to obtain funding from multiple grant foundations to include the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation as well as 125 backers on a successful kickstarter campaign.

The project will be on display for four days beginning Friday October 9th through the 12th.

For more information visit their Postcommodity website or Facebook page.