Border-Ball awarded Best Experimental Documentary at the Cambio International Film Festival

Many thanks to the Cambio International Film Festival for screening the Border-Ball movie last week and for awarding the film Best Experimental Documentary.

Border-Ball movie screening January 15-16 on ArtCenter DTLA website

The Border-Ball movie is screening January 15-16 on the ArtCenter DTLA website. Watch the film and see the virtual show at:

The film chronicles my 40-day pilgrimage along the U.S. – Mexico border and shares stories of people I meet along the way. Featuring interviews by Humberto Velázquez Villalvazo, Estella Vargas, Uriel Vicona Guzman, Maggie Gonzalez, and Alam Martinez.

Alam Martinez: “El centro de detención de Otay Mesa… no es un lugar grato pa’ver a mi hermano… Hemos crecido juntos en toda la vida y la verdad lo extraño mucho… Me duele mi corazón.” “The Otay Mesa Detention Center… is not an enjoyable place to see my brother… We’ve grown up together our entire lives and I really miss him… My heart aches.”

Authority Magazine’s article, “Why And How Filmmaker Joel Tauber Is Helping To Change Our World”

Many thanks to Edward Sylvan, Yitzi Weiner, and Authority Magazine for this wonderful article about my work: “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Joel Tauber Is Helping To Change Our World.”

Border-Ball movie screenings on the Big Apple Film Festival website

The Border-Ball movie is screening
November 13-15
On the Big Apple Film Festival website.
Tickets and more info:

The first phase of the ArtCenter exhibition of Border-Ball continues as a virtual show on the ArtCenter website through January 16, 2021. See the virtual show at:

Participate by sharing your thoughts and stories about immigration and borders, learning more about how we’re treating immigrants, and doing what you can to help.

Conversations with Christina Valentine and Lawren Desai about Border-Ball

It was a joy talking with Christina Valentine, program director of ArtCenter DTLA, about Border-Ball. The virtual show of the project continues on the ArtCenter website through January 16. And the physical installation will be exhibited at ArtCenter DTLA from November 4, 2021 – January 22, 2022.

It was also wonderful to talk with Lawren Desai, executive director and curator of a/perture cinema, about Border-Ball. The movie screens on the a/perture cinema website through November 5. And our conversation can be seen here.

Border-Ball movie screenings on aperture cinema website

The Border-Ball movie is screening
October 20 – November 5
On the a/perture cinema website.
Watch the film at:

The first phase of the ArtCenter exhibition of Border-Ball continues as a virtual show on the ArtCenter website through January 16, 2021. See the virtual show at:

Participate by sharing your thoughts and stories about immigration and borders, learning more about how we’re treating immigrants, and doing what you can to help.

Border-Ball movie premiere and show at ArtCenter

I’m excited to announce that the Border-Ball movie—which chronicles my recent pilgrimage along the U.S. – Mexico border and shares stories of people I met along the way—premieres October 17-18.

Please join me for the movie screenings anytime this coming weekend on the ArtCenter website. The screenings are part of a multi-phase exhibition of Border-Ball at ArtCenter: first virtually, October 17, 2020 – January 16, 2021, on the ArtCenter website; and then physically, in Autumn 2021, as a 9-channel video installation at ArtCenter DTLA.

I invite you to participate further by:
Sharing your stories about immigration
Learning more about how we’re treating immigrants
And by helping out in whatever ways you can.

More info below.

ArtCenter College of Design
ArtCenter Exhibitions

Border-Ball: A 40-day pilgrimage along the U.S. and Mexico Border

Exhibition explores immigration, compassion and hope 

Online Exhibition Dates:
10/17/20 – 1/16/2020

On-site Exhibition to follow in Fall 2021.

(Pasadena, Calif.) Sept. 25, 2020 – ArtCenter DTLA launches the online premiere of Border-Ball, the first phase of the culminating exhibition of a 40-day pilgrimage (October 29 – December 7, 2019) along the U.S. and Mexico border by artist Joel Tauber.

Border-Ball explores the meaning of the wall and how it impacts the human race psychologically, ethically and spiritually. Through the shared cultural experience of baseball that extends beyond boundaries, Tauber asks probing questions about immigration, compassion, imprisonment and more.

Tauber began his pilgrimage at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California, and walked along the Border Wall before heading north two and a half miles to the Otay Mesa Detention Center. He travelled there and back again daily—a seven-mile journey that connects legal entry to the U.S. with the Border Wall and the Detention Center holding those who might be in the country without legal permits. While walking, he declares, in English as well as some Spanish, an adaptation of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame:”

Walk with me along the border. Play catch with me in front of the wall. I don’t care what part of the world you’re from. Let’s root, root, root for teamwork. If we don’t find some, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, we’re out at the old ball game.

He also proclaims, as an adaptation of “The Star-Spangled Banner:”

Oh, say, can you see, our country’s gorgeous dream: an endless field of green, where everyone can live and play? Our star-spangled banner yet waves, over the land of immigrants and the home of us all!

Tauber wore a custom vintage baseball uniform and backpack in blue, white and red. Tossing a baseball as he walked along, the artist invited people who walked along with him to play catch.

The exhibition will be presented in two phases. The online exhibition presents the trailer of the 20-minute documentary of the project with information and still-images of Tauber’s journey. The first phase will also feature an artist talk (Oct. 23) and a limited premiere of the Border-Ball documentary (Oct. 17 and 18). With the central component of the exhibition highlighting the personal stories of immigration, the online exhibition will feature an ongoing interactive link for visitors to the site to share their own stories on immigration.

The second phase of the exhibition will be the on-site installation of the Border-Ball project in Fall 2021 featuring a video series of interviews of people Tauber met while on his border walk. A collection of personal reflections and stories related to border and baseball, the interviews reflect the complexity of our relationships across demarcated boundaries. Presented as an installation project, Border-Ball will also comprise of photos and documentation of the 40-day pilgrimage along with an interactive piece where visitors are invited to play catch and add their own stories about baseball and the border.

Border-Ball was developed in part through Tauber’s interpretation of Tikkun Olam, a Kabbalistic mandate to do what we can to save the world. By framing his performance and documentation along the border as a pilgrimage, the artist raises the performative gesture to a meditative action of care and opens up the opportunity to share in conversation about the border rather than limit it to polemics.

Tauber was born in 1972 in Boston, Massachusetts, and comes from a long line of rabbis. His work focuses on generating conversation and facilitating change. Most recently, Tauber’s “The Sharing Project” movie was named Best International Documentary Film by the Vintage International Film Festival (Kolhapur, India) and Best International Documentary Short by the Lake City International Film Festival (Noida, India). He lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he is associate professor of art at Wake Forest University.

ArtCenter DTLA
114 W. 4th Street
Los Angeles, Calif. 90013

Exhibition hours:
Please note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, exhibitions in ArtCenter’s galleries may not be available for visits by the public. Please check with the gallery before visiting. Email

Parking is available at 415 S. Main Street (left side of Main St.; entrance between Kazunori and Big Man Bakes.) Rates are $5 for the first 90 minutes. $10 maximum. A kiosk located near the garage entrance accepts both cash and card. ArtCenter DTLA does not offer validation. From the parking garage, walk down Main St. and turn left on 4th. ArtCenter DTLA is on the left side of 4thSt.

ArtCenter DTLA is accessible by public transportation. The Pershing Square Subway Station is three blocks away. Metro 92, 33, 68, 733, and DASH Downtown D on Main Street and Metro 28, 40, 45, 83, and 745 on Spring Street all stop within a block of ArtCenter DTLA. Visit Metro for bus and subway maps or call 323 466-3876.

Plan your trip using LADOT or Metro bike maps. Refer to Metro Bike Share Map for kiosk near you. Free bike parking is located in the parking garage at 415 S. Main St.

About ArtCenter DTLA:  As a satellite of the College, ArtCenter DTLA provides a platform for dialogue and engagement, intersecting the campus with the Los Angeles community. As an extension of the Exhibition department’s mission, ArtCenter DTLA’s programming will focus on events and exhibitions that are critically engaging from a transdisciplinary perspective. Drawing on the resources of the College and the Los Angeles art community to collaboratively build and contribute to a culture that is diverse, innovative and relevant.

About ArtCenter Exhibitions
ArtCenter Exhibitions includes the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at its north campus in Pasadena, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery and the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall at its south campus in Pasadena, and ArtCenter DTLA Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. These curated spaces embody ArtCenter’s institutional will to understand artistic thinking and design strategies as levers in promoting social advancement, the pursuit of humanitarian innovation and use of critical inquiry to clarify objectives and truths. Using the lens of contemporary art and design, the mission of ArtCenter Exhibitions is to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking.

About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond
Media Relations Director
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396-2385

Stories about Border-Ball in Fresh Ink For Teens and The Old Gold And Black

Many thanks to Rena Max for her wonderful story about Border-Ball, Sick-Amour, and doing what we can to improve the world. The story, “Tikkun Olam: Improving The World Through Creativity. An interview with Joel Tauber inspires change”, went live on March 4 in Fresh Ink For Teens and can be read here.

Many thanks to Will May as well for his excellent story about Border-Ball. The story, “Deacon Profile: Joel Tauber”, was published on December 7 (2019) in the Old Gold And Black: Wake Forest Student Paper and can be read here.

The Otay Mesa Detention Center

The Otay Mesa Detention Center troubles me. I walk there everyday from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry as part of my 40-day pilgrimage. Guards slowly circle the Detention Center in vans. They stare at me. I meet their gaze. They tell me that I have to remain on the sidewalk. The large private prison company that owns and operates the Detention Center, CoreCivic, maintains the dirt pathway that surrounds it. I cannot film, or even stand, on this pathway—or on the very large parking lot where the multitude of Detention Center employees park their cars.

I stand on the sidewalk and bear witness. I toss a ball, repetitively and meditatively, contemplating the expanse of concrete “pods” holding the detainees. Three layers of barbed wire and electric fencing separate me from the people locked inside. I cannot see them. I cannot talk with them or play catch with them. I cannot offer food or other forms of direct aid.

I try to imagine what it must be like for the detainees—especially those who are forced to remain in the Detention Center for years on end. Refugees. Dreamers. Most have no criminal records whatsoever. Treated like prisoners. In jumpsuits. Living in concrete cages. Breathing in terrible air from the power plant across the street. Suffering, according to multiple reports, from physical and sexual abuse. Medical neglect. Contaminated and insufficient food. Forced labor.

I toss the ball and I think about how my paternal grandparents survived the Holocaust. How my grandfather’s brother died in a slave labor camp. How I am a descendant of immigrants who came to this country because they believed, like I do, that it is a welcoming place that values people from all ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. A compassionate country that finds homes for refugees, that cares for those that need help.

I’m still shocked by the march in Charlottesville, so close to where I live with my wife and two young boys. Klansmen without hoods, shouting openly about killing Jews and African Americans. I’m frightened by the rise of racist rhetoric and the rise of hate crimes. And I’m terrified by white nationalism.

But, I have hope nonetheless. I continue to believe in our country. I’m confident that we will rediscover our values. So, I toss a ball and declare:

Walk with me along the border. Play catch with me in front of the wall. I don’t care what part of the world you’re from. Let’s root, root, root for teamwork. If we don’t find some, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, we’re out at the old ball game.

On Thanksgiving, a guard stops his van and tells me that he sees me everyday. We discuss the Detention Center, the Border, the Wall. The value of compassion. A friend who has walked with me that day adds his thoughts. Then the guard asks: “we need this place, right?” I thank him for asking such an important question. He thanks me. Then the guard resumes circling the Detention Center in his van. And I start walking back to the Port of Entry with my friend, as the conversation circles over and over again in my mind.