Not Empty Handed, 2017
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Relationships emerge from the tension between connection and control; in Not Empty Handed, I invited participants to form a temporary connection outside of my usual social barriers and boundaries that we erect as residents of a city, and which I personally find to be raised, stone upon weighty stone, even higher by social anxiety. Some of the participants were well known to me, some of them were strangers that I met downtown or in the Nob Hill area in Albuquerque; in either case I committed to remain present to what would arise in the interaction.
In each engagement, my partner and I wore gloves on our left hands, which I then stitched together with red thread. This simple ritual act allowed both of us to play with connection and control. Ritual not only gives us the ability to invite in that which is psychologically nourishing, but can be used to bar that which is harmful. Some were content to let me stitch, some helped me when I got stuck, and some wanted to try their hand at sewing us together.