Video still from 3-hour performance from September, 2008 in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Part of a collaboration with the artist Martine Kaczynski, for her SkyWorks installation at the 2008 DUMBO Art Festival. Wearing the Crow Mask and standing on Kaczynski’s scaffold, I cawed along with a recording I had made of the murder of crows that lived outside my studio, then located in Connecticut. Viewers were encouraged to engage in dialogue with me, and the little plaster murder, by wearing black plastic masks and making cawing noises.
Crows hold a special fascination for me. In Native American folklore the crow is said to have the ability to fly back and forth between this world and the next – between life and death. Contrary to the macabre image of crows and ravens perpetuated in European cultural history, this depiction of the crow is benevolent. As a species crows have also demonstrated great intelligence, able to learn and teach, as well as speak in a discernible language.