Excerpts from a 2 hour durational performance presented at Glasshouse ArtLifeLab in New Paltz, NY.
In both the digestion of food and the formation of a nation there is a process of amalgamation and separation of an “other” that is variously taken in, assimilated, and excreted/removed. Both bodies of flesh and the body of the state are formed through these processes. For this performance, I stand behind a wooden balance with a large bowl of cherries and of walnuts laid in front of it. There is a sign inviting observers to take a cherry or a walnut from one of the bowls and give it to me. I then “process” it by hand or mouth, separating the cherry pit from the fruit, the walnut from the shell, eat some, and separate the remains into the baskets. As the balance tips to one side or the other, a white paper below each side of the scale records the "stamp" of the imbalance. The moment of the viewer/participant choosing and giving me one of the foods to process questions to what extent complicity is a passive or active, direct or indirect process. The mark of the scale speaks to the imbalance created through the process of assimilation and removal, and the cumulative nature of change.