Invisible-5 is a self-guided critical audio tour along Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It uses the format of a museum audio tour to guide the listener along the highway landscape. Invisible-5 investigates the stories of people and communities fighting for environmental justice along the I-5 corridor, through oral histories, field recordings, found sound, recorded music, and archival audio documents. The project also traces natural, social, and economic histories along the route. Sites along the tour, which can be driven in either direction, include Livermore, Crows Landing, Kesterson NWR, Kettleman City, and Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. The free, downloadable program in MP3 format along with the printable PDF booklet is available at the project’s website.

Invisible-5 was produced collaboratively between three artists and two organizations; lead artist, Amy Balkin; artist, Kim Stringfellow; sound designer, Tim Halbur; and non-profit organizations, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice and Pond: Art, Activism, and Ideas. The project was supported through a grant from the Creative Work Fund.

Invisible-5 was featured on “The California Report” produced by NPR affiliate KQED on Friday, October 13th, 2006. Exhibitions include an Atlas, a traveling U.S. exhibition of artists working within radical cartography and The City Is A Blazing, Burning Bonfire at Cubitt in London during 2011. Amy Balkin and Kim Stringfellow participated in the Los Angeles Central Library’s ALOUD Lecture Series: Ground Truth: Mapping the Invisible Landscape on November 9, 2008. The panel was moderated by Matt Coolidge, Director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Emily Eliza Scott’s essay Field Effects: Invisible-5’s Illumination of Peripheral Geographies published in CAA’s Art Journal for the Winter 2010 issue featured this project.

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