This article advances an argument about two “imagined environments”—my term for the frameworks that human groups use to depict and dwell in more-than-human worlds. The first of these imagined environments arose around the US-Mexican Boundary Commission (1849–59): while failing to fulfill its official objective of building physical border monuments, this team of explorers and engineers still made media that helped two settler states conceptualize and control their borderlands. Against this increasingly efficient exploitation of both humans and nonhumans, a second imagined environment persisted in Mescalero Apache pictographs, Chihene Apache performances, and other Apache media. On our precarious planet, this imagined environment can teach us to stop defining ourselves around fixed places and to remain resilient while migrating through shifting spaces.

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