Thomas Glassford

(USA, 1963)

Related Material

La esquina/Jardines de Playas de Tijuana (The Corner/Tijuana Beach Gardens) was commissioned by inSite as an urban rehabilitation project for the area of Playas de Tijuana where the border fence dips into the Pacific Ocean. The Tijuana bullring, the border fence, and the Playas de Tijuana’s tourist corridor demarcate the renovated area. The intervention was not so much an “artistic” project per se; rather, it was conceived as a response to Tijuana’s ecological crisis and the dysfunctionality of its urban planning project, and was intended to facilitate the recovery and development of communal areas. Thomas Glassford and Jose Parral took on the challenge of designing the park project and immediately focused on aesthetically transforming the area into a recreational zone with ecological sensitivity. To this end, they refrained from overlaying the area with new artistic or cultural monuments and, instead, sought to respond to the particular conditions of the landscape and its historical importance as a site of demarcation between Mexico and the US. The challenges involved in negotiating the creation of the garden were manifold, and included preventing the increasing erosion of the land, limiting traffic circulation, improving basic services, and, above all, generating new patterns of growth and urban restructuring while respecting Tijuana’s natural environment. The design of La esquina/]ardines de Playas de Tijuana renders more visible the ecological interconnectedness of the region.

Curators: Osvaldo Sánchez and Tania Ragasol
Venue: Playas de Tijuana

City of Greens was a short film satirizing the city of San Diego and its obsession with all things green, including money and the manicured lawns found at homes and on golf courses. Filmed in the style of a James Bond action movie, the piece followed Glassford around the city of San Diego, where he encountered eighteen greens in unusual places. A humorous but pointed work, City of Greens showed the disparities between the desert landscape in which San Diego is located and the Eden-like expanses the city takes so much time, energy, and resources to maintain. Glassford’s film was shown at both the International Visitors Information Center and the Children’s Museum/Museo de los Niños in downtown San Diego.

Curators: Jessica Bradley, Olivier Debroise, Ivo Mesquita, and Sally Yard
Venues: International Information Center; The ReinCarnation Project; Children´s Museum/Museo de los Niños, San Diego

Thomas Glassford, City of Greens, INSITE97 (film).
Duration: 31:31 min