Surrogate: a measure of your absence

Finding comfort for loneliness, one reaches to other people, activity to engage in, and/or a relationship with their environment.  Often, the search uncovers a yearning that a surrogate cannot compensate for.  In a 3 hour performance to film, I dug soil out of the land and filled a pink cotton sack scaled to human dimensions.  I then laid with the sack, looking for the land, the place, the environment to replace the feeling of loss felt by not feeling the intimacy of another.

Performance Duration: 3 hours; 223 lbs. of hand dug Maine soil filled into a cotton sack (dimensions of sack: 78 x 25 x 7"); 2016
All photos by Carol Ayoob

Creating the surrogate

The sack was filled with soil, hand dug in Castle Hill, Maine.  It was loosened with a spade and then primarily dug through tree roots by hand.  Sack dimensions are 78 x 25 x 7" and it weighs 223 pounds.  


Being with surrogate

Creating surrogate was an intimate experience.  I filled it by hand and sewed it shut with a needle and thread.  Before closing it up, I pulled it to a beautiful tree lined area and slipped inside.  After sewn up, I laid with the surrogate, quietly observing.


Leaving surrogate behind

I left surrogate in Castle Hill, Maine, where artist Carol Ayoob, continues to document its evolution.  The fabric stains with moisture; an animal dug inside to build a nest; eventually, the elements tore off the top of the sack to expose the beautiful green insides in contrast to the weather worn environment.