The Balance of the BCA-Instrument

The Balance of the BCA-Instrument

BCA-Instrument is a grid helping the border crosser to document the BCA. The BCA-I is carried along during the border crossing act but is usually redrawn afterwards. Recording, documenting and noting in a grid has many advantages and disadvantages. The strict direction of border experiences in a grid is compelling. It influences and guides the border experiences. At the same time, the BCA-I can also structure and, on the basis of this structure, facilitate a more intense and focussed experience in the field. 

It is difficult to find a balance in steering and structuring the documentation of the border experience and leave enough room for the autonomous, personal performative and intimate experience of the border area in the BCA-I. The challenge is to find a balance between a fixed language without fixing the experience. To promote the readability and divisibility of border experiences without sacrificing the border experience itself. 

The BCA-I tries to keep that balance in a couple of ways: 

  • The upper part of the BCA-I asks border crossers to link their experiences to more traditional maps and representation techniques by basing the drawing of the BCA on existing maps and representing the border by means of a legend. Because of this, the personal and individual border experiences are not isolated but linked to known representation techniques and localised clearly. 
  • The lower part of the BCA-I asks, by means of horizontal strips, to draw each border experience in a new strip and to connect them with the upper part of the BCA-I. As such, the different border experiences can be compared with each other and can be unambiguously located on the map to be found on the upper part of the BCA-I.
  • Each strip on its own is subdivided into different parts, each of which asks the border crosser to map out the border experience in a diverse way, in a different scale and representation technique.

In addition to these three aspects directly linked to the design of the BCA-I, the BCA-I forces a different view on the border as a line. The border is no longer a thin black line that must be crossed. Instead, by organising the grids perpendicular to the border, the border becomes an experience that is built up in several, sometimes hundreds of metres before and after the actual (crossing of the) border. This makes the border flexible, dynamic and different in impact and ‘thickness’ (and thus avoids drawing a ‘black line’).