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    Borderlands is a series of thermal images that reframes the cultural understanding of borders as sites of surveillance by focusing instead on the intrinsic character of the landscapes along the US and Mexico divide near Marfa, Texas where the photographer/artist Nina Dietzel is based.

    While thermal technology is used by the U.S. Border Patrol and has visual associations with monitoring activity, Dietzel subverts this surveillance purpose by intentionally shifting the viewer's attention. Instead, these images focus on objects in this environment that the camera wasn’t designed to pick up — and that we don’t expect to see: a pair of horses grazing in the sun, a looming water tower, the linear lines of train tracks, or the fan-like leaves of a desert yucca or agave plant.

    Rendered in bright gradations of yellow, orange, red, blue, and purple, these unimposing parts of the borderlands landscape ask us to consider a different viewpoint and explore a place without a human-prescribed purpose. Dietzel’s work reminds us there are always undiscovered layers to understanding a place — and that places are never what they seem on the surface.