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Brittany De Nigris

first performed on July 17, 2019
Oaxaca Observatory, Oaxaca, Mexico
performed once in 2019


Philadelphia, PA


Begins shortly after landing in a new city, in a new country, one that touches my own. 5000 feet of elevation gained, end is still in question. This parenthesis has only been defined by looking backward—earlier I would have said this piece was an hour or two of one afternoon.

To think about lines, grids, or borders when you are standing next to something that is meant to see deep, dark, and far and that requires darkness in order to see anything at all (what does it see in the light—like when you close your own eyes into the sun and see all those spots?).

Looking out into a hazy valley and then tilting even further up to everything else, your own edge. Rings, openings, perforations, swept up, sweeping away, and flowing down the sidewalk after each afternoon downpour.

Finding all of these places and materials by accident, after a long hike following arrows and plucked from dark puddles after the carnival folded up its airbrushed world, after one of countless parades where dancers wore wheels of fireworks spinning on their heads spitting sparks.

Looking to where and how? I climbed over and over and one day was supposed to be caught in that net that connects over and over in order to share these views but there was a total malfunction that day, no net to catch my call to everyone on the other side of that edge or line so desperately honed on an idea of freedom and also of despair.

Sweeping water over the tiles before the library floods, sweeping the sky, turning and teetering upward to peep through tiny, thundering holes—the mark of a finger.

Also to think about beginnings and endings. I thought the observatory was abandoned until one day I found all the astronomers waiting for the sky to get dark and if the clouds might clear. In all the times I went up that never happened. The whole thing began when I found this place without expecting to and kept going when, to my surprise, the spent firework shells on their palm wheel made it through airport security.

Sounds you might have heard, all of them travelling up and down the mountain: church bells, dogs panting or barking, the hot corn whistle, birds, speaking Spanish, footsteps, honks, thunder, whistling into a Coca-Cola bottle, sweeping, motorcycles, plastic bag crinkling.