In Plain Sight

2020: Performance


Culture of Incarceration

In Plain Sight is a coalition of 80 artists, led by Cassils and rafa esparza, united to create an artwork dedicated to the abolition of immigrant detention and the United States culture of incarceration. A highly orchestrated mediagenic spectacle and poetic action, this project is conceived in five parts -- a poetic elegy enacted on a national scale, an interactive website, an anthology docuseries, accessible actions for the public to take to join the movement against immigrant detention, and cultural partnerships producing arts-related education and engagement.

Link to In Plain Sight webpage:
Link to In Plain Sight on Instagram:

Independence Day

Starting Independence Day weekend 2020, and continuing into the fall,  In Plain Sight launched the nation's skytyping fleets to spell out artist-generated messages in water vapor, legible for miles. These messages were typed in the sky over detention facilities, immigration courts, borders, and other sites of historic relevance. As the planes soared, they made visible in the sky what is too often unseen and unspoken on the ground: the appalling, profoundly immoral, imprisonment of immigrants. In Plain Sight helps break through this wall of secrecy, exposing to public scrutiny the sites of detention centers, paid for with your dollars and operated in your name.

In Plain Sight steers the gaze of those sheltered in place into the borderless sky. Although we are living in uncertain times, there is one thing that is certain: we need to work towards ending immigrant detention. Our immigrant community does not have protection from the deadly coronavirus and lacks basic supplies including soap, disinfectant and face masks. We cannot distance ourselves from the fact that this community is faring poorly in this crisis. 

In Plain Sight aims to amplify the voices organizing on the inside and outside of detention centers, bringing together artist interventions and direct support for those urgently working towards immigrant justice. We aim to serve the decades-long movement built by people working, often as volunteers, as part of powerful coalitions, networks, and local organizations supporting the immigrant community. Our team, intersectional in our identities, experiences, and expertise, is dedicated to drawing attention to the calls to action crafted by experts on the ground and in communities, and to uplifting the voices of all those currently detained. We strive to do this in a collaborative and intentional manner. We stand in solidarity with all those working to end immigrant detention and the culture of incarceration. We welcome all comments and suggestions regarding how we can further uplift local voices, and center the voices of those who are directly impacted.