Networks of Entanglement

This project is a visual exploration of the historical interconnectedness of families in South Texas and Northern Mexico, through the creation of networks that demonstrate the entanglements of families and land that predate the current border.

The term “entanglement” is a term borrowed from quantum physics that has come into usage in various fields as describing the dependencies among humans, and between humans and things. When such links are considered in relation to space and time, entanglements become a web of movement resembling Michel de Certeau’s category of trajectories: “temporal movement through space…a diachronic succession of points, and not the figure that these points form".

The project takes archival data from the 18th and 19th centuries as a starting point for visualizing temporal networks of the families who were entangled on both sides of the Rio Grande. By combining drawing and time-based media, the work explores the temporal and spatial dimension of networks by animating a network drawing that connects familial ties with geography and landscape, transforming the data-oriented representational mode of network visualization into a meditation on the ways in which entanglements inform and shape identity.

©Marie Saldaña 2023