project image
(zoom video still)

first performed on April 29, 2020
on a concrete foundation in the backyard of the artist's home
performed once in 2020


Putney, VT


“Witness” was a two-day private performance recorded on Zoom during Covid-19 quarantine. The performance resulted in a performative drawing, also titled “Witness.”

The purpose of “Witness” was to explore the witness within my own body, mind, and spirit. Through this private performance, I sought to come closer to the mystery of the witness. The earth needs witness during this time. We as human beings need witness. Witness is not passive. It is active, and requires attention, presence, and an ability to bear heat.

– What is it to be a witness during these uncertain times?

– What is it to be a witness to another?

– What is it to be witnessed?

– What is it to witness with love and active participation?

– What might I come to know about the secret witness within?

These are some of the questions that arose over the course of the two days.

In quarantine, my relationship to the role of the audience had to change. It seemed like an opportunity I didn’t want to miss of performing alone in a piece that was about the witness. At the same time, performing this piece outside surrounded by trees, wind, sky, and changing light, I felt I was being witnessed not by other humans but by the world around me.

The process:

– A 22” by 30” piece of paper is on the ground, secured by one rock (the witness).

– The witness remains in the center of the paper for the duration of the performance/process.

– A fire is made.

– Rocks are put in the fire. They are fired.

– The fire goes out.

– The rocks are removed and placed on the paper.

– The charcoal from the fire is gathered.

– The rocks are covered in charcoal. (I color them all black.)

– Charcoal is removed from the rocks by rubbing them against the paper. (The drawing is made this way.)

– Tea is served.

– I drink some tea.

– Tea is poured over the witness.

– Each rock, one by one, is washed by the tea, assisted by my hands and clothing.

– The rocks are placed, one by one, on the paper.