5-channel HD video, color, sound; 28 min. Installation includes: 48 x 48 x 85.3 inch cube, plastic skull, used tires and ratchet straps.
‘Leave No Trace’ (2019), explores the demarcation of space and its effect on bodies. The potential of the void or ‘negative space’ is articulated against acts of construction and the grid as an organizing principle. Confronted with imposing boundaries, the performers work to illude the totalizing effects of standardized time and space. The video is a 5-channel work projected onto the five visible sides of a cube. The cube is propped up on a (faux) human skull, a morbid nod to its use in the video as both a presence and a negation.
A solitary arch made of stacked speakers stands in the middle of an empty stage, shadows are cast across the floor as theater lights are used to echo the movement of the sun across the sky. Through this simulation of a sundial we experience “felt time” as opposed to mechanized time. Cut to a land-locked trailer where skulls are gathered into an Ikea bag from otherwise empty kitchen cabinets. These remains of a human body are toted across the desert and later used to prop-up a collectively built platform. ‘Leave No Trace’ juxtaposes immaterial forces and what I call the “non-event” sites of a theater, like the battens and theater grid, with desert sprawl. A group gathers on the site of a demolished building repurposing garbage to construct a new space, one without walls, that will serve as a stage for movement and a protest tableau. The platform borders a military base demarcated by barbwire and threatening signage. Suited in Chelsea Manning’s jacket a performer trespasses while vocalist Shannon Funchess traverses a web-like theater grid, singing an a-cappella version of ‘Supernature,’ that conjures a macabre narrative of technologically altered beings. Returning to the stage we find a critical homage to Félix Gonzélez-Torres 1991 conceptual performance piece Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform)—reinterpreting desire through a non-binary body. The closing recitation is a text I wrote about the borderless sensation and impotence of human superiority as experienced within the desert.