In Residence, I will workshop a performance that will walk the former waterline of the now landfilled Collect Pond, engaging the socio-ecological history at different points of the beach beneath the streets of Lower Manhattan. Historians believe the Collect was a kettle pond with 70 foot deep waters. Once the city’s primary source of freshwater, the Collect was a sacred place for the Lenape, New York’s indigenous people. It was fed by multiple springs which flowed north out of the pond and then west through a salt marsh that has also since been filled. Over two centuries of early New York, enslaved people were buried at the African Burial Ground on the Pond’s south-west shore. Later, many places on site served as stops on the underground railroad. Since its landfill, several carceral structures have been erected on the Collect.
In the WoW governors island studio space, I will create an installation, marking the pond’s former shape, and will develop the performance with visitors who come to visit my process. The walls of the studio will exhibit historical maps of landscape change from my research and photographs of past and current communities who live upon the Collect, providing additional context for the performance.