SAN DIEGO - From October 12 through November 14th, people driving south on I-5 at the Sycamore St. exit half a mile from the border will be able to see the Keep on Crossin' design displayed on a massively huge billboard. Access to the billboard is thanks to a collaboration between Ann Berchtold and her Open Walls Project as well as billboard operators CBS Outdoor Americas Inc.
Victor Payan and I created Keep on Crossin' as an entry into the 2002 California Quarter design competition. Our design never made it onto a quarter but it sparked a conceptual art project that has taken on a variety of media including a wearable patch, a Tijuana-made plaster-of-paris statue and a crossing-themed manifesto and more.
During its 12 year life, the Keep on Crossin' image has spread across the globe, recently traveling to Berlin for an exhibition commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The related Manifesto has been translated into three languages, including spanish, german and french.
Keep on Crossin' has thrived in San Diego and Southern California thanks to the support of the community as well as cultural institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, SDSU Prof. William Nericcio's travelling art exhibit, Mextasy, UC Riverside's Sweeney Art Gallery and of course Open Walls Project.
Our project has landed on the perfect spot splashed across a highly visible billboard, close to the border which originally inspired it! I hope the image and the manifesto continue to inspire and delight crossers everywhere for a longtime to come.
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to cross borders of political, social, linguistic, cultural, economic and technological construction...we wiIl cross. For long before there were borders, there were crossers. We are the proud sons and daughters of these crossers, and we hold that crossing is a basic human right. Furthermore, we hold this right to be in-illegal alienable."
From the Keep on Crossin' Manifesto