Patty Cake



Patty Cake is a feminist consideration of the body, loss, and intimacy, utilizing technology and archive to queer future discourse about Covid-19. Patty Cake explores how trauma restructures the brain, creating new correlations in everyday assessments of potential danger. This work reflects on the loss of intimate proximity and touch, examining how both the pandemic and the resulting trauma have coded threat into formerly safe interactions. Informed by radical softness as both an aesthetic and interpersonal practice, Patty Cake takes inspiration from the private spaces held by femme and non-binary people, and how relationships and communities outside of the heteropatriarchy have been impacted by Covid-19.


Filmed in early May 2020, Patty Cake is a 20 minute long single channel video depicting a game of patty cake. As the piece advances, the sound of clapping glitches and becomes disembodied from the action, punctuated by the players spontaneously singing fragments of songs recalled from childhood. The video is accompanied by a digital archive of risk assessment and disclosure documents related to engaging in non-essential touch during the Covid-19 pandemic. These disclosure documents take inspiration from contract tracing procedures and CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus, according to the information and resources available in late April 2020. The documents act as a record of the mental processes, anxiety, and disorientation experienced in Phase 1 of the Covid-19 stay-at-home mandate. A simulacra experience of the invisible threat of Covid-19 is made accessible to future audiences of this work via performance instructions and blank disclosure forms for those who wish to re-stage Patty Cake in the near or far future. 


2020 - ongoing


Email for hi-res blank disclosure documents and instructions.

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