Dowsing or ‘water-witching’ is a form of divination used to locate ground water, oil, sites, information and objects. Though it was associated with witchcraft and the occult, dowsing has been used for prospecting ores and water in Northern Europe since the 15th century. My mother's family has long been regarded for their “water witching” abilities. Using a “Y” shaped branch or copper “L” rods they would locate ground water without the use of scientific technology. While the practice of dowsing is often discredited and dismissed, the use of this alternative technology still persists.
In the summer of 2016, I began a series of site-responsive performances that investigate remediation through the practice of dowsing at abandoned oil well sites in Alberta. Dowsing becomes a method of inquiry that examines our relationships to water, land, and technology. Video will be coming soon.