Anni Holm

Jana – Germany
archival inkjet
57 x 43 in.

The Immigration Project

After Sept. 11th 2001 investigation revealed that two of the suicide pilots where here on expired student visas. The public expressed their concern towards this problem and demanded better security. It was proposed to monitor all international students’ actions while in the US by enforcing fingerprinting and tracking cards with chip implants to enhance national security. It was clearly a lack of commitment to the original system that led to the two suicide pilots overstay, but nonetheless the international students were looked upon as a threat to American security and freedom. A new system is still in the making and it is not yet
known if international students will have to be
fingerprinted or carry a tracking card at all times,
but so far there has been an increase in the personal information the former INS, now SEVIS, is requesting to let any international student maintain their status.

My project deals with the issues of all the personal information SEVIS might choose to obtain to monitor international students in the US. I have been working with international students from all over the world to obtain photos, fingerprints and other forms of personal documents to create large-scale digital portraits of each student. Each image measures 57×43 inches and contains about 4000 life size fingerprints. The participants are all international students who have chosen to be involved in the project, because they like me, question the use of this information as a tool to secure America.

© Anni Holm