Wanna Go Offshore?



complete project here

IT’S ALL ABOUT CORRIDORS: canals, rails, airports, logistics parks, enterprise zones, factories, warehouses, refineries, border fences, detention centers… Along with cellphones and the Internet came a whole new built-and-mobile geography, layered onto more familiar systems of production, transport and exchange. Gradually we realize that goods from Mexico, China and other far-off lands do not just magically materialize in the stores, but instead follow a complex fabrication and transportation circuit: Out of sight, out of mind, except for the millions who work along the way.

Here in the US, much of that labor takes place in so-called “foreign trade zones” (FTZs), enclosed sites that are considered to be outside the jurisdiction of ordinary law from the perspective of goods movement. FTZs bring global economic conditions directly inside the country, breaking down hard-won rights but also opening up the chance and the need for new solidarities. Wouldn’t it be great to learn more about what’s happening across your local border? Wanna go “offshore” in our own regions, cities and neighborhoods, to wrap our bodies around the corridor logic and find out what kind of world we’re living in? This is an on-the-ground experiment in political perception and imagination.

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Who, What, How, Where, When?

Trips to the Chicago port, the Joliet region, Kansas City, Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico…

Portages, docks, rail yards, warehouses, intermodal centers, enterprise zones, FTZs…

Self-organized excursions into little-known areas by any means of transport necessary…

Maps, photography, performance, geography, organizing, political activism…


Chicago portage, Oct 5; Joliet, Oct. 14 (all day); Kansas City, Nov. 9-13

“Foreign Trade Zones: A People’s Consultancy” at ThreeWalls, April 25 – May 31


Riding the Zone, by Rozalinda Borcila

Do Containers Dream of Electric People? by Brian Holmes

The Cultural Logic of Frictionless Production, by Dara Orenstein

Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism, by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan

Fantasy in the Hold, by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten

Globalization or Spatialization? by Michael Wallace and David Brady

Zone: The Spatial Softwares of Extrastatecraft, by Keller Easterling

Differential Geography, by Brian Holmes


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