Flashpoint Gallery, Washington, DC
The November 2016 election was a strong reminder of whom is considered disposable and who is considered a necessity. The lives of indigenous, black, brown, queer, trans, femme people continue to be devalued in an administration headed by a self-proclaimed sexual assaulter who has repeatedly disregarded indigenous peoples. Further down the chain-of-command we find homophobes, racists, millionaires, and more.
It was also announced in late 2016/early 2017 that one of DC's most important spaces for young and emerging artists would leave its location in the heart of Chinatown. Presumably the space will become an area for capitalist modes of production.
In response I placed 15 pounds of glitter on an assuming triped table. Audiences were encouraged to make the piece by breathing on the glitter, throwing it in the air, rubbing it in their hair, etc.
At the end of the installation - despite meticulous cleaning - it became apparent that this glitter is never coming out.
July 2013 and February 2015
HausRotations, Nashville, TN and DCAC, Washington, DC
Let's complicate the binary that technology is either bringing us closer or pushing us further apart.
On the opening night of the performance, the artist sits in the gallery below a bold advertisement of their personal phone number. Participants are invited to engage with the artist via text message. The artist follows one simple rule: they must reply. The performance continues for the duration of the installation month.
During the performances audience members would text the artist about secrets, hopes, fears, and desires. In general, people showed a greater willingness to divulge intimate secrets to a stranger through a digital intermediary than they would if they were speaking directly to the same stranger.
However, many participants also felt a strong urge to communicate physically and verbally with the artist, frustrated by the mediation.
Due to the nature of social media, the artist's phone number was shared across the globe, drastically expanding the scope of participants beyond the walls of the gallery.
From high noon until sunset the artist stands in a temporary pond, holding an umbrella that rains water down. Every hour the artist tells the story of where water came from and recites the Indigenous Declaration on Water Rights. Audience members are encouraged to take/leave pennies.
This dramatization of a traditional Catawba story (How Rabbit Tricked Turtle Into Flooding the World) was created in response to #IdleNoMore and other indigenous demands to have sovereign water rights respected.
1067 Pacific People, NYC
Beginning at sunset 175 votive candles were lit. Each one inscribed with the names of children killed in US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. Participants were encouraged to make their way down the dimly lit landing strip reading the name of each and every child. The performance is over when the final votive candle extinguishes.
Almost immediately some of the candles were knocked over by the wind, either extinguishing immediately or after flaring brightly. As the night went on, other candles began to dwindle and fade as the voices of readers became hoarse. The final candle extinguished just as sunrise began to touch the horizon.