caroline eaton tracey
writer

caroline.e.tracey at gmail dot com

Artist Cecilia Vicuña’s Sonoran Quipu reassembles the desert
High Country News, March 29, 2023

“Sonoran Quipu is the latest in Vicuña’s decades-long exploration of the quipu as a form, dating back to the blue thread in her bedroom. In Quechua, the language of many of the ethnic groups Indigenous to Andean South America — the area that stretches from what is now southern Colombia to Chile and northern Argentina, encompassing much of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador — the word “quipu” means ‘knot’ or ‘to knot.’ It also refers to an ancient record-keeping device: Instead of using written ledgers, Andean societies made knots on fiber cords to keep track of numeric information, such as tax, census, or calendar records. Such quipus can include just a few strands, or thousands; they can be color-coded, or not.

One of the pieces in the Sonoran Quipu fashions a traditional quipu form out of Sonoran materials, threading chile seed pods on strings of different lengths and hanging them from a long smooth tree branch. But the rest look nothing like historical quipus. In Vicuña’s interpretation, the quipu encompasses far more than its utilitarian function. Beyond numerical values, a quipu can hold ‘the watercourses of the Andes, or the connections between land and sky,’ said curator Laura Copelin.”






reporting on the Arizona border wall, november 2022 (photo: Eliseu Cavalcante)


with Ellen Waterston and guest judge Raquel Gutiérrez at the 2022 Waterston Desert Writing Prize awards ceremony
Caroline Eaton Tracey writes about environment, migration, and the arts in the US Southwest, Mexico, and their borderlands. She speaks and works in English, Spanish, and Russian. Her first book, SALT LAKES, is under contract to be published by W.W. Norton.

Caroline’s reporting appears in the New Yorker, n+1, the Atlantic, and elsewhere, as well as in Spanish in Mexico’s Nexos. In 2022-2023 she was the climate justice fellow at High Country News. She is also an editor-at-large at Zócalo Public Square.

Her art writing has appeared in Nexos, SFMOMA’s Open Space, and Burlington Contemporary, and her book reviews appear in the European Review of Books and the Nation.

In 2022 she was awarded the Waterston Prize for Desert Writing and in 2023 she received Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Fellowship in Journalism and Human and Civil Rights and a Silvers Foundation Work-in-Progress grant.

Caroline holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives with her wife, Mexican architect and sculptor Mariana GJP, between Tucson, Arizona and Mexico City.

She is represented by Bridget Matzie of Aevitas Creative Management.
Caroline Eaton Tracey escribe sobre el medioambiente, la migración, el arte y la literatura en México, el Suroeste de Estados Unidos y su frontera. Habla ingles, español y ruso. Su primer libro, SALT LAKES será publicado bajo el sello de la editorial W.W. Norton.

Sus artículos aparecen en The New Yorker, n+1 y The Atlantic, entre otros lugares. En español escribe frecuentemente para la revista Nexos. En 2022-2023, cubría la justicia climática para la revista High Country NewsTambién colabora como editora en Zócalo Public Square.

Sus reseñas y ensayos sobre el arte han aparecido en Nexos, Open Space (plataforma del Museo de Arte Moderno de San Francisco) y Burlington Contemporary, y sus reseñas literarias en European Review of Books y The Nation.

En 2022 ganó el Premio Waterston por Escritura del Desierto y en 2023 recibió la beca Ira A. Lipman de periodismo de derechos humanos y civiles de Columbia University y una beca de la Fundación Silvers.

Caroline es Doctora en Geografía de la Universidad de California–Berkeley. Vive con su esposa, la arquitecta y escultora mexicana Mariana GJP, entre Tucson, Arizona y la Ciudad de México.

La representa Bridget Matzie de la agencia literaria Aevitas Creative Management.