home     events    projects     about     press    contact


Muerte en Mexico III: A Special Field Trip to Visit the Patzcuaro Riviera, the Most Emblematic Site to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico. Sunday October 30 – Thursday November 3

Girl with sugar skull and instant photo portrait, Zacatecas, Mexico, 2013.  Photo credit: David Brommer. To read more about this photographic series created by David during our 2013 trip to Mexico click here.

Sunday October 30 – Thursday November 3 (**Must reserve by June 3)
A 4-day trip to Mexico put together for the Morbid Anatomy Museum by Mexican writer and scholar Salvador Olguín.
Includes: Visit to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Mexico City’s Historic Center and the colonial city of Morelia. And for the grand finale, an unforgettable all-night tour of Janitzio Island, located in the Lake of Patzcuaro, for the indigenous Purepecha Night of the Dead festival.

Cost: $775.00 USD (includes all hotels in double-rooms, luxury ground transportation, special all night long tour of the Patzcuaro Lake Riviera, with dinner and traditional beverages, guided visits, and breakfasts; airfares not included). Email info@borderlineprojects.com to reserve a space. Payments will be received via PayPal.

PLEASE NOTE: A non-refundable down payment of $375.00 required by June 3 to reserve. Space limited to 35 people. Email info@borderlineprojects.com with questions.

Join Morbid Anatomy and Salvador Olguín for a very special 4-day, 5-night trip to Mexico for our favorite holiday, Dia de Muertos. Last year’s trip took us to Mexico City and Oaxaca. This year we will visit the beautiful historic city of Morelia and the Patzcuaro Lake Riviera, the most emblematic site to celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico, definitively a most for Day of the Dead enthusiasts! Our journey will take us to two Day of the Dead celebrations, special tours, museums, colonial palaces, hidden corners, markets selling Day of the Dead and Santa Muerte artifacts, churches, cemeteries, and, throughout, great regional cuisine, and drinks! There is no experience like crossing the waters of the Patzcuaro Lake by night to reach the idyllic island of Janitzio, where we will entirely submerge ourselves and integrate with its unique take on the festival’s tradition, its atmosphere and its people. Drinking ceremonial charandas by the Patzcuaro Riviera view will prepare us to experience Janitztio’s Animecha Kejtziatakua, “The Night of the Dead” as the Purepecha natives call it.
Attractions include:
A bus trip to three major Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City, Morelia, and the Island of Janitzio, as well as other amenities (museums, markets, food vendors, etc.) aboard our exclusive luxury bus. Places of interest include:
In Mexico City
  • El Templo Mayor Museum and Archeological Site
    The Monumental Day of the Dead Offering at El Zocalo
    The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
    Dolores Cemetery
    The Santa Muerte shrine in Tepito
In Morelia
  • The citywide Day of the Dead celebrations at the unparalleled Historic Center of Morelia. You will be able to admire the Monumental offerings at the former Convent of Del Carmen and the Cathedral of Morelia, as well as the Catrinas Exhibition throughout the entire Centro Historico. You will enjoy traditional performances at the Arms and Martyrs Square, Day of the Dead festivals on Calzada Fray Antonio, and night tours of the Municipal Cemetery. Enjoy the music, traditions, drinks, aromas and flavors of the kitchens of Morelia that fuse the ancestral culinary secrets of the Purepechas with the new ingredients and spices brought by the Spanish at the time of the Conquest of Mexico.
  • Day of the Dead Celebrations at the Panteon Municipal.
  • The Del Carmen Ex Convent and The Cathedral of Morelia Monumental offerings.
  • The Mercado de Dulces and Valentín Gomez Farias crafts and food markets.
  • A plethora of museums, art galleries, stores and other places for shopping sugar skulls, art-crafts and curiosities.
  • The Patzcuaro Lake – Janitzio Island tour to take part in what is perhaps the most renowned Day of the Day in the world: The Purepecha Animecha Kejtziatakua or “The Night of the Dead.”


October 30 – Mexico City
We recommend arriving in Mexico City early so you can go out and enjoy the sites around our Hotel, located in the heart of the Centro Historico, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will be blocks away from the Zocalo plaza, where you can admire mesmerizing monumental Day of the Dead Offerings. Also a few blocks away: The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, the Templo Mayor of the Aztecs, the Art Nouveau Bellas Artes Palace, the Mariachi-laden Garibaldi Plaza, the Santa Muerte shrine in Tepito, and other amazing landmarks.
October 31 – Morelia
At 10 am, after having breakfast in our Mexico City Hotel, we will ride our luxury bus towards the Colonial City of Morelia, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will be staying at the hotel Mision Catedral. The hotel is housed in a 16th century colonial mansion just across the street from the Baroque-style Morelia Cathedral and the Arms and Martyrs Square. We will spend the night of Halloween as well as the morning and the afternoon of November the First in Morelia so you can enjoy the festivities, Day of the Dead altars, museums, convents, and festivals the city has to offer. Local, English-speaking guides will be available to point out sites of interest, and to answer all of your questions.
November 1st – Patzcuaro-Janitzio
The highlight of our tour will be a twelve-hour tour along the Patzcuaro Lake Riviera, culminating with a midnight trip across the lake to the island town of Janitzio. We will enjoy a traditional dinner accompanied by charandas, ceremonial alcoholic beverages. It will be a night to remember.
November 2nd – Back to Morelia
You will have one more day to explore the hidden treasures and unparallel colonial atmosphere of Morelia. The Aqueduct, the Candy Museum, and the Valentin Gomez Farias Market are must-see sites.
November 3rd – Back to Mexico City
Our luxury bus will drive us back to Mexico City after breakfast. The night of November 3rd is included at the same hotel. We recommend you use this day to go shopping and bring lots of souvenirs back home. This day marks the end of our tour. For more information, contact info@borderlineprojects.com

COST: $775.00 USD – airfares not included, non-refundable down payment of $375.00 required by June 3 to reserve. Space limited to 35 people. Send payments via PayPal to info@borderlineprojects.com or email with questions.

The $775 fee covers land transportation in a luxury bus, traveler insurance, lodging (double rooms at hotels), taxes, breakfasts, guided tours, tickets to museums, special visits to some of the sites, and special treats. Airfares not included.

January 24, 2014 -Book Presentation - Pornocultura, by Naief Yehya

Last Friday, cultural critic Mark Dery and Mexican writers Naief Yehya and Salvador Olguín, came together in conversation to present Yehya’s latest book, Pornocultura (Tusquets, 2013). The event took place at McNally Jackson Books in Soho, where the public enjoyed an interesting conversation between the author of the book and his two guests. At the end of the presentation, the attendees were treated to a reception and book signing.

To read Mark Dery’s take on media, technology, pop culture, and American society visit http://markdery.com

To learn more about Naief Yehya’s work visit http://naiefyehya.net

Read Salvador Olguín’s writing in Spanish at www.posdataeditores.com

April 12, 2013 - Confessions of a Mexican American Hoarder or the Caucasian Bestiary:  The Existential and Insane Consequences of Collecting Stereotypes. An illustrated lecture with William Nericcio

An illustrated lecture with William Nericcio, PhD
Date: April 12, 2013
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Admission: $8
Presented by: Borderline Projects

What happens to the mind of a relatively sane Mexican American academic when plunged into the laughter of an East Coast undergraduate student? What madness ensues once that self-same “scholar” uses his academic superpowers to catalogue Mexican stereotypes in the United States? What happens! Mextasy! Enter the Observatory tonight for a brief MEXSTATIC multimedia presentation examining dominant trends in the 21st century representation of Latinas and Latinos in American popular culture. From Hollywood to Madison Avenue, specific and damaging visions of Latina/o subjectivity have infected the synapses of Americans, and Mexicans alike. These “ethnic mannequins” (William Levy, Eva Longoria, Sophia Vergara) work to infect consciousness even as they entertain, and are not utterly divorced from what’s going down contemporaneously: a talk-radio fueled renaissance on racialized hatred currently en vogue in the U.S. from New York to California, from Arizona to Georgia. If Lou Dobbs spews out that Mexicans are “diseased,” and Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners to tell “Mexicans” to go back to “their country,” what is the result? Research

would seem to suggest these collective efforts have led to a resurgence of anti-Latino hate and hate crimes at the very moment demographically that the lands of Uncle Sam are more decidedly Latino/a. The presentation will feature excerpts from Tex[t]-MexEyegienethe Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog and art from Mextasy.

William Nericcio, born in 1961 at Mercy Hospital, Laredo, Texas, is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University where he directs M.A.L.A.S, the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences program, an eclectic West Coast cultural studies hive. A 1980 graduate of St. Augustine High School (where he somehow survived being “raised by nuns”), Nericcio graduated with a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and completed his MA (1987) and PhD (1989) in Comparative Literature at Cornell University—among other noteworthy mentors there, Nericcio TAed for Carlos Fuentes, and studied with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Enrico Mario Santí. Nericcio is the author of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the “Mexican” in America (UT Press, 2007), and is in the final stages of writing his next eye-candy filled study, Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race, also with the UT Press.

<< Confessions of a Mexican American Hoarder or the Caucasian Bestiary: The Existential and Insane Consequences of Collecting Stereotypes. An illustrated lecture with William Nericcio.

November 20th - Bone Making for One Million Bones

Date: Tuesday, November 20 EVENT CANCELLED
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Donation: $3
Presented by: Borderline Projects

On Tuesday, November 20 we will get together to collaborate with One Million Bones‘ Project of bringing 1,000,000 bones to Washington DC. Come donate some of your time and creativity, and it will help raise money to fund relief work in Congo and Sudan. We will guide you through the process of making the bones. You can make as many bones as you want, and each bone we collect will trigger a $1 donation from the Bezos Family foundation. We will also show two short videos to understand the meaning and importance behind this initiative.

About One Million Bones
One Million Bones is a social arts practice that uses education, hands-on art making and large-scale public art installations to raise awareness of mass atrocities and conflict-related crises happening today in Congo, Sudan, Burma, and Somalia. Working at the intersection of art and activism, it brings the power of the arts to the human rights movement by introducing youth and the general public to overwhelming issues in a positive, action-oriented way. In this particular initiative, we are collecting one million artwork bones to lay out on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to raise awareness of these issues and to ask our government to take action. Each bone made raises a $1 donation from the Bezos Family foundation for CARE’s relief work in Congo and Sudan. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.onemillionbones.org/ or like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OneMillionBones


Annual Observatory Day of the Dead and Halloween Costume Party

Music, Performance, Costumes, Tequila, Traditional Altar, Sugar Skulls, Death Piñata, and tacos provided by our favorite local taqueria Oaxaca!
Date: Saturday, November 3

Time: Doors at 8:00 PM, Performance at 9
Admission: $15
Presented by Morbid Anatomy and Borderline Projects 
  • Cetiliztli Nauhcampa: Aztec dances and chants
  • A brief lecture on the origins and significance of Day of the Dead celebrations
  • The Midnight Archive: Screenings of The Midnight Archive, Ronni Thomas’ web series based on Observatory
  • Music: Halloween music for the all night dance party


  • Event will be catered by local favorite taqueria Oaxaca!


  • Day of the Dead Altar honoring the late Chavela Vargas and Neil Armstrong.
  • Special appearance by our very own La Catrina
  • Pan de Muerto: Indulge in this traditional dessert called Bread of Death
  • Piñata: Dash death to smithereens with our annual death piñata!
  • Sugar skulls: Decorate and eat or bring home your own Day of the Dead sugar skull
  • Offerings to the Departed: In some places in Mexico, people leave small, coffin-like figures out for the souls of the departed. Guests are invited to leave their own offering; they will be available at the installation.

For photos from last years’ party, click here. Hope very much to see you there.  

Photo Journalism and the War on Drugs in Mexico: Taking Pictures of the Dead

Photo by Manuel Álvarez Bravo


Date: Friday, August 31

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Admission: $12

Observatory 543 Union Street (at Nevins), Brooklyn, NY 11215 [Map]

Since the beginning of the war between the Mexican Armed Forces and Federal Police and the country’s drug cartels in 2006, more than 50,000 people have lost their lives. In this context, many of the country’s major newspapers decided to limit their coverage of drug related executions, arguing that this would palliate the terror that the drug cartels are trying to create among society. But images and videos of these crimes have proliferated in the Internet, distributed by citizens who believe this information should be known, but also by opportunistic sources and even the cartels themselves.

Crime-scene photographs are as old as photojournalism itself. Their shock value makes them a perfect fit for tabloids and newspapers interested in sensationalist stories, and they have been a staple of what in Mexico is called la nota roja (“red news”). But crime-scene photographs are also produced in our society for useful reasons, and even aesthetic ones: they are a key element in forensic investigations, and some photographers have incorporated them into their oeuvre. The tension between ethics, aesthetics, journalism and shock in crime-scene photographs will be explored in this lecture by Salvador Olguin.

*** Some of the images presented in this lecture may be too disturbing for some people. Discretion is advised ***

LUNATION Art of the Moon

Observatory’s first group-curated show

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, January 7, 2012 7-10 PM
ON VIEW: Sunday, January 8 to Sunday, February 26, 2012
HOURS: Thursday & Friday 3-6PM, Saturday & Sunday 12-6PM
CLOSING RECEPTION/3rd Anniversary Fundraiser: Saturday, February 18, 2012 8PM

Artists and scientists have always been attracted to the moon…
Our closest celestial neighbor, the earth’s little sister, the moon creates the tides and illuminates the woods at night. For centuries, humanity believed the moon provided a key into the invisible realm: it called out the beast within us, freeing us to act as wolves, to run, to dance, to chant—and sometimes (as in Duncan Jones’ Moon) to split in two, to find our double, our changeling moon-self.

Is the moon home to life? Today we know it isn’t, but even as of 1830, speculation was rampant that the moon was inhabited by Christianized bat-people who worshiped in great ziggurats. (See The Sun and the Moon by Observatory alumnus Matthew Goodman for details.) Still, life comes to the moon. We know the moon contains frozen water, and we dream of using it as our jumping-off point for visiting even more alien vistas…

You can find out more about this exhibition by clicking here.

View show images here


Morbid Anatomy and Borderline Projects are co-hosting a Halloween / Day of the Dead Party on Saturday, October 22.

The night’s amusements will include
  • Ghoul a Go Go: Premiere of a brand new episode
  • The Midnight Archive: Two new episodes of The Midnight Archive, Ronni Thomas’ new web series based on Observatory
  • Burlesque: A creepy Burlesque performance by Lil’ Miss Lixx
  • Traditional Food and Drink Specials throughout the evening
  • Costume Contest. Prizes for costumes inspired by either Vlad, Creighton, The Invisible Man, or any of the clips featured on Ghoul a Go Go
  • Day of the Dead Altar: Altar de Muertos, an installation by Borderline Projects celebrating Mexico and its past, history and culture
  • Face painting: Have the Kiss of Death painted on your face by La Catrina
  • Pan de Muerto: Indulge in this traditional dessert calledBread of Death
  • Sugar skulls: Decorate and eat or bring home your own Day of the Dead sugar skull
  • Offerings to the Departed: In some places in Mexico, people leave small, coffin-like figures out for the souls of the departed. Guests are invited to leave their own offering; they will be available at the installation
  • Music: Wavy gravy Halloween music for the all night dance party
      Please join us for a night of art, music, death and debacle.