THE SECRET SOCIETY OF CONCEPTUAL MIGRANTS is an intervention project built around the word migrant, specific definition and common assumptions. Students from Emmanuel College were enlisted as recruiters to document the diverse migrant paths of Bostonians. Ortiz recorded the Bostonian's stories and the student's experiences. Through the collected stories the confusion between the terms migrant and immigrant, foreign or undocumented, became apparent.
This project emerged from Ortiz's investigation of her family history. Her paternal grandparents and father were born in the US. Even so, they became migrant workers to support their families. To this day Ortiz identifies with this history as she has moved from place to place, city to city, for work. She considers this path, by definition, to be the same as a migrant worker like her ancestors. The word migrant is loaded with negative connotations. The United States remains one of the most geographically mobile countries in the world. To recognize this truth Ortiz proposes creating a Secret Society that includes other types of migrant workers from white collar industries such as tech. By doing so we erase stereotypical stigmas associated with migrant work. For the exhibition at Casella Gallery, visitors were invited to participate in an experiment that made them part of a new Secret Society of Conceptual Migrants. Each participant received membership cards, lapel pins, key chains, hats, frisbees, stickers, handmade patches, and tote bags.