Topographical Analysis of a Murder Scene

September 2018

Baltimore Maryland


Topographical Analysis of a Murder Scene is a response to a violent crime I witnessed involving the murder of a 30 year old man outside my apartment in a parking lot.  Events like these leave an indelible, invisible mark on the landscape.  I am curious about how experiencing violent moments force us to become intimately connected with the location where they occur and how these memories are recorded and stored into the human occupants of the area; even after the fast pace of city life erases the physical evidence we commonly associate with these events.           

The performance involves using a razor blade to slash open an above ground pool over the exact location where the victim died 2 months prior.  Evoking libation or ablution rituals, the deluge of almost 6000 gallons of water serves as emotional cleanse for the parking lot and a topographical ritual for closure.  Humans have long understood water as a purifying element.  I watched in horrendous wonder as the fire department was called to hose the victims blood down the storm drain after crime scene investigators were finished analyzing the location.

in Topographical Analysis of a Murder Scene, ritual is enacted and object and environment clash to tell a tragic tale.  Loud gushing sounds fill the air with a wave of energy that immediately alerts people to its action.  Water flows over the entire crime scene, collecting trash, leaves and other artifacts, and displacing them somewhere else.