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HardPlace is a web-based project created in 2000 (originally with Flash animations that currently do not work), as Clinton’s new anti-immigrant legislation launched the biggest expansion of detention of immigrants in US history. I solicited participation from people in detention, asking that they send plans and drawings of their detention sites, through a network of immigrant advocates. The drawings (and some recorded phone calls) I received each describing whatever partial view of the site that the contributor was able to see. I used these to construct digital models of sites ranging from state to federal and the emerging for-profit prisons. The idea was to give viewers a way to ‘see inside’ the abusive places that immigrants were fast being disappeared into. HardPlace presents information about 10 detention centers, based on drawings and notes that detained people courageously shared about their prisons/detention centers.

The wireframe model shown here depicts the Women’s Unit of the San Pedro island prison off the coast of CA (now closed) and is available as a series of inkjet prints in which the model is rotated and zoomed out, to convey freedom from confinement.

In collaboration with Lauren Gill. Supported by a Digital Artist Residency from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.