project image
Sungjae Lee

first performed on August 11, 2019
Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
performed once in 2019


Michael Lee Bridges + Terra

Chicago, IL / Atlanta, GA


“Scrye” was a durational performance structured thematically around communication, distance, ritual, divination, and friendship. We sought to invoke our own version of medieval “scrying” to communicate using Skype—a mixing of ancient and millennial communication techniques. One of the two of us was physically present in Chicago for the performance, while the other in Atlanta was communicated to.

The performance began with the creation of a medium in a silver bowl—made with black paint, water, rose hips, and urine—that congealed to form a projectable surface upon which viewers could see the Skype call between the one in Chicago and the other in Atlanta. For the duration of the performance we communed with one another, catching up on the life events that have occurred since our separation. The one in Atlanta communicated in a strictly verbal manner while the other in Chicago communicated strictly by typing into Skype’s instant messenger function, adding a layer of obfuscation to our conversation. Viewers were invited to read the instant messages as they were being sent as well as listen to the verbal communication. The one in Chicago intermittently stirred the liquid to keep the connection image clear and focused.

The performance ended after the call between us was finished. Culminating the connection, we shared a high hummed tone reminiscent of the tone we shared at the end of our previous performance “Ar+An+Om→Or+fAE.” To complete the act of scrying, the one in Chicago lifted the bowl with the medium, walked it upstairs and through the gallery space, exited the back door, and promptly dumped it out down a drain.