The Space Blanket Project
Tactical Public Sculpture, 2019
What if we established monuments not only to our troubled history, but also to our shameful present?
The Space Blanket Project co-opts existing public space to establish contemporary memorials for the migrants and asylum seekers who have been separated from their families, detained, deported, or otherwise live in constant fear of any of these realities.
Images of migrants captured in U.S. detention facilities often bear a striking resemblance to one another - refugees huddled on detention center floors and cots wrapped in silver Mylar blankets. These blankets are weatherproof and designed to retain body heat in an emergency situation. They are thin and disposable and are designed to be used temporarily, such as when a runner finishes a marathon, or for first aid purposes. Migrants who are currently being held at border facilities for weeks or months at a time in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions and are frequently given these noisy and shiny emergency blankets for bedding. The Space Blanket Project brings this eye-catching object into public space as an every-day reminder of the present-day atrocities being committed against immigrants and asylum-seekers all over the country.