Center for Tactical Magic

Witches' Cradles, 2009

Brookfield Place, Allen Lambert Galleria, Bay Street

Stepping into the cathedral-like space of Brookfield Place, people encountered a line of eleven "witches' cradles" suspended from 80-foot arches. Originally used to punish those accused of witchcraft in the Middle Ages, these gently swaying pods were later reclaimed by witches to induce states of ecstasy and prophetic visions. One by one, selected audience members could enter and experience the cradles. They were hoisted up by professional riggers to sway for 15 minutes. The witches' cradles disrupt the vestibular sense (which facilitates balance, movement) and create subtle shifts in consciousness. In the Nuit Blanche context of visual and auditory overload, this work used sensory deprivation to bring forth the possibility of altered states.

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