Arte Útil archive nr:



Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) 2.0/B.A.N.G. Lab


US / Mexico border


scientific, politics, social


Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cárdenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand (the artists)

Maintained by:

Calit2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology) at the University of California in San Diego.




2007 - ongoing

Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) 2.0/B.A.N.G. Lab
Transborder Immigrant Tool


Researchers, new media artists, and co-founders of the Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab, Ricardo Dominguez and Brett Stalbaum, together with a wider team of poets and professors, devised the Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT) to improve the odds of a safe crossing of the Mexico–U.S. border. Thousands of people have died in their journey, mostly due to its vertiginous and deserted geography. “It is better to live to cross the desert tomorrow than to have the desert cross you today.” The TBT consists of a GPS system (in this case, standing for Geo Poetic System) with 24 hours of experimental poetry
aimed at providing not only inspiration for survival, but also information on food/water caches, security activities, and directions to potentially safer routes. Its simple, user friendly interface is designed as an easy hack to low cost cell phones.


To guide the immigrants to water safety sites and to increase safety during border crossing.

Beneficial Outcomes:

While it takes the form of a functional opportunity to save the lives of other human beings, the tool is as much a cultural product aimed at bringing into light an important issue: the inequality between classes, drawn along racial and political boundaries, that has caused a deep resentment on both sides of the border.