DAVID IAN BELLOWS/GRIESS / NINA ISABELLE / ELIZABETH LAMB
“Empathy Blinders” was performed in a void and vast parking lot adjoining a defunct IBM complex currently being rebranded as Tech City in Kingston, NY and is a version of a larger project called “Empathy Surveillance” that uses safety vests, DIY blinders, and a camera lens to challenge our individual and collective ability to see beyond sight/site. This version of “Empathy Blinders” was a collaboration and we were excited to create a scenario that might help us confront the discomforts imposed upon the seen and unseen observer as observed. How do we continue to function within the fabricated spaces imposed by both external and internal systems of surveillance that arise between objective morality and the influence of desires to be simultaneously seen and unseen?
We had the feeling to use the Tech City parking lot because it was a large surveilled private space that unofficially allows public access. The day we performed was hot and during the performance we were wearing black clothing and there was no shade, a situation that lead to a mixture of mildly uncomfortable feelings including commitment, desire, submission, hyper-focus, endurance, and intention.