Light Lines - CODAworx

Light Lines

Submitted by Jay Atherton

Client: Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, University of Texas

Location: El Paso, TX, United States

Completion date: 2011

Project Team


Jay Atherton


Cy Keener


Kate Bonansinga


Perched above the U.S./Mexico border, nine steel framed mirrors were anchored into the rugged hills surrounding the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center at University of Texas at El Paso. Within the gallery space, sections of wall covering three exterior windows were removed to allow natural light into the gallery. As the morning sun rose from El Paso and set each day in Juarez, each mirror was focused to reflect fleeting moments of sunlight, carrying with it the color of atmosphere into the coolness of the dark gallery space.

Within the gallery, 5,000 adjoining hand-cut squares of plaster-infused fabric, each measuring 7 x 7 inches were suspended on steel tension cables. The resulting assembly created an elaborate surface plasticity from which the reflected light both shimmered and saturated the white fabric; in these brief moments, the surface dissolved into specks of scintillating sunlight, allowing the boundaries of national distinction to dissipate into atmospheric solidarity.


This site specific installation was commissioned to engage the university and museum's location along the US-Mexico border, as well as its students who traverse the border on a daily basis.