The White Room opened in November of 2015. It was conceived as a Sacred Space, and inspired in part by the all-white “Celestial Rooms” of the Mormon temples.
These Celestial Rooms are meant to convey a literal sense of heaven on earth, and were accessible only to the “righteous,” and the "pure of heart.” They were not available to me.
Mormonism, the religion of my childhood, was embedded with racisms and homophobia. As both queer, and a person of a color, I was excluded from these rooms, and would therefore be excluded from heaven itself.
The White Room was created as an alternate vision of Sacred Space--as a “temporary autonomous zone”--where there were to be no rules or prohibitions, and all would be welcome.
Covering the floor of the White Room was “Avi” or sacred clay. Considered medicine by the Indigenous people of central Oregon, this clay was used for ritual cleansing and often coated the visitors to the White Room.
The space was made available to the public and, over the course of two months, hosted concerts, healing ceremonies, drum circles, a dumb supper, and a birthday party. Over fifty visitors came for private sessions with me, as host and ritualist.
These one-on-one experiences varied widely but all shared ecstatic energy: sound, movement, song, scream, meditation, trance and quiet. In the sharing of space—in a room without rules--we gave and got permission to explore.
The White Room was created as the sacred space I needed, both to heal my childhood and claim my power as a creator. I gave myself permission to play. I allowed myself to be big. I created a space where my highest self was encouraged to come forward, and where I held space for others to join me.
The White Room is OPEN
The Red Room
THE INDIGO ROOM
The Indigo Room or Swallowing monster is based in early mythologies the idea of a Swallowing Monster, a beast which devours it victims whole and alive is a near universal myth with deep resonance for modern people as we consider our current all powerful macro systems of capitalism, military industrial complex and corporate led politics. The Monster addresses the feelings of helplessness in the face of the seemingly unstoppable forces moving our world.
You are invited inside, literally into the belly of the beast. This is hosted installation art. It is performance art and space. Sea sounds, mumbled chants and deep blue are the stage, you can take action, move the camera and see through the monsters eye, make your mark in chalk, meet the madman and throw the bones seeking your future, plan your escape.
The Return is a collaboration with photographer Adrain Chesser and depicts a loosely banded tribe of people living nomadically throughout the western states of Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon. Traveling with the seasons, the subjects of The Return, utilize traditional hunter-gatherer skills along with the knowledge of indigenous food crops, to follow an ancient way of life known as “the Hoop”. From the beginning we held the intention of creating a kind of mythic portrait of a people, a place and an ideal. From 2006 to 2012 we traveled with a group of fierce individuals who wish to embody the ideal of living a symbiotic relationship with the Earth, based on the life way of early Native Americans.
“The subjects in “The Return” are predominately not indigenous Native Americans. Most carry European ancestry. And most come in one form or another from the disenfranchised margins of main stream America. Most are poor, some are queer, some are trans-gendered, some are hermits and some are politically radical. All believe that major shifts are needed in the way modern society interacts with the natural world. And all are willing pioneers, stepping off into uncertain terrain searching for something lost generations ago. These new Heroes are on a journey. Like all great heroes, what they desire is to simply return home. For them home is a wild garden; an ideal, a way of life, a return to what once was. The wild garden is a place the human soul knows. Every person has ancestors who lived in that wild garden, it is a universal thing we share.” - Timothy White Eagle
2010 as part of a larger body of work exploring disease I created my version of a Jingle Dress. Jingle Dress is a ritualized dance common in modern powwow's which has it's root in a healing ceremony dating back to 1900. Traditionally Jingle dresses are worn by women only. The Jingle Dress ritual was a sincere attempt to embody and empower the divine feminine within myself. And from that place of feminine power to make a prayer for my personal healing. I had a dress a fashioned in the traditional style, but instead of the metal jingles normally used, I fastened 365 used syringes. These syringes where the by product of a painful daily process in which I had to "shoot" a life saving medication into my abdomen using a CO2 charged "gun". I literally had no idea what would happen during the ritual. I knew I needed to dance. It was not until the first jingle syringe popped off that I understood. As I danced I slowly removed the jingles. The ritual ended when the last jingle fell to the ground.
In early 2016 I collaborated with durational performance artist Alice Gosti for the City Arts program Genre Bender. Together we crafted a ritual performance, which at it's core was prayer to reconnect to the Earth and consider how our use of resources effects the planet. Using the shell of teepee as a cloak, Alice embodied a Spirit who comes to earth to aidhumanity.
On Columbus Day, 2015 I held a public ritual around Columbus Circle in NYC. The ritual was based on the ideas presented in the stories of the Heart Eater Monster from the Wasco people of central Oregon. The ritual sought to encourage the Heart Monster, which could also be called the spirit of domination, to leave. it's time on earth had come to an end and that we the people are calling for an end to the principle of domination.