with Jae-Sung Chon and Xiao Yi, 2007
Entry in IAAC’s “Sudapan: Endless (S)Trips” Competition
The pressure and permanence of building on solid ground has caused the world’s largest hotel and resort chains to abandon the earth and build a second coastline, one kilometer out to sea. The developers see no need to sink their concrete piles like talons into the delicate ecology of the Mayan Riviera. Now, barges the size of small cities float in and out of the clone coast. They are here for the sun, and the sun alone. The constant changing of the barges allows them to create any fantasy they want, and to float it out and replace it with another as soon as the fantasy fades.
A tower 140 kilometers long services the second coast. It contains the transit and infrastructure for the new development. It has long since been overrun with locals from nearby towns, those who work on the barges, and those who hope to profit from this forced bottleneck in the tourists’ journey. The tower changes much like the barges, colours flash like pixels on a screen as the inhabitants shift their dwellings, clustering and jockeying for position around the busy transit stations, now informal markets. Of course, the tower offers fantasies the barges cannot provide, it is a constant presence on the edge of the sky, a shifting mosaic almost lost in the haze.
Tourists arrive and leave without setting foot on Mexican soil. The land has given way to jungle, new ruins from failed land-side resorts joining centuries old ruins as the jungle sweeps over them. New infrastructure looms over the undisturbed earth. Only a few brave souls venture across the water from their pleasure palaces to see the jungle ruins. Even the ocean is untouched, as the barges come with their own wave pools and beaches; coral reefs have begun to form on the steel supports of the second coast