Us: Freedom, Commerce and Faith in America, 2005-2010
Us, is a performance project that began on June 1, 2005. I began with the intention of traveling from New York City to the Pacific Ocean and back to New York without using or handling money. Over an indeterminate period of weeks or months I planned to travel and eat by the kindness of strangers and the excesses of others. These limitations also excluded working, relying on friends and family, begging or panhandling and performing for money, food, shelter or transportation.
My intention was to consider freedom, commerce, and faith in America, by creating a mental and physical space to engage these concepts in order to find new and dynamic relationships between and amongst them. My interests and research ranged from the history of the interstate system in America to Christian pilgrimages, ancient Chinese spiritual wanderers, America’s westward expansion, 1960's counter and hippie culture, the civil rights movement, the proliferation of suburban sprawl and white flight, and numerous versions of religious and practical faith.
The audio documentation for the piece was begun soon after I returned from my attempt, and finished five years later in June, 2010.