La Frontera, the frontier, or the Mexican-American Borderlands in The Rio Grande Valley, Texas, is my cage. The media and Elon Musk’s Twitter account construct a myth of what south Texas looks like and lacks. Outsiders fail to have the discourse for people who live in the borderlands and the companies that take advantage of the cheap labor. My work surpasses these outlets, using photography show my relationship with my father and our labor and the subversion of technology at the border.
How-To: Build a Father and Son Relationship is an ongoing photographic series about my relationship with my father, labor, and the Texas Borderlands. Together we represent blue-collar workers, invisible laborers, and immigrants. With photography, we perform How-To guides demonstrating our resourcefulness by repurposing a found bench, recycling wood for an installation, or using the land as a food source. For 17 years, we have been performing autoconstruction to our once run-down family home. We did this to construct a home that we could not afford. We show our way of life with portraits by confronting the viewer with our gaze and using our bodies to outline borders. During long exposures, our bodies sync, we rest, and our relationship continues to build.