A Stranger Comes to Town

Jacqueline Goss

Artist Bio

They say there are only two stories in the world: man goes on a journey, and stranger comes to town. Six people are interviewed anonymously about their experiences coming into the U.S. Each then designs a video game avatar that tells their story by proxy. Goss focuses on the questions and examinations used to establish identity at the border, and how these processes in turn affect one’s own sense of self and view of the world. A Stranger Comes to Town reworks animations from the Department of Homeland Security, combining them with stories from the border, impressions from the online game, World of Warcraft, and journeys via Google Earth to tell a tale of bodies moving through lands familiar and strange.

Award Year


Jacqueline Goss

Jacqueline Goss

Tivoli, NY

Jacqueline Goss makes videos and internet works that explore the rules, tools and narrative ruptures associated with language and mapping systems. Her projects include So To Speak, The 100th Undone and There There Square, as well as short videos about Helen Keller, the Human Genome Project and the history of North American mapmaking. Her How To Fix The World is a digital animation based on Soviet-sponsored literacy programs in Central Asia in the 1930s. Goss’ work has shown in such venues as the New York Video Festival, Eyebeam Atelier, The New York Underground Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and The Walker Arts Center. Her projects have been supported by the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation and the MacDowell Colony. She teaches at Bard College and received her MFA in Electronic Art from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.