Care House is a memorial to my mom and the house that became her.

As an experiment in eliciting meaning and memory from place, it is sited where it was inspired but resonant with the wider experience of emptying a home and parting with a parent. 

Sound, video, and material interventions consider the shifting roles of caregiving and caretaking, the enduring of terminal illness, and the being of a daughter.

Each work documents intuited, invented rituals performed in this house between its owner's passing and putting the house on the market.

April 1- May 1, 2012
Q&A Brunch 11am April 14
Sat - Sun 10am - 5pm
Mon - Fri by appointment

 Care House is an intimate, invitation only installation that requires an access code. If you are interested in viewing it, contact me at 832.372.9476

floorplan drawing by Rachel Wilkins



Video stills from Dress

Before I had a chance to keep and wear the dresses I remember my mom being beautiful in, they were gotten rid of and I came home to find her closet empty. Dress began as a way to try on these dresses, but evolved as practice of inventorying loss, measuring the space between impossible attempts to arrive at her, and counting the gaps between our roles just one generation apart.

Installed inside of an empty closet, Dress is viewed within a handing mirror as a reflection of a video projection.


Walk Through Video


so you have some questions


photos and interview by Jess Schreibstein

Care House is open April 1 - May 1, 2012
Brunch (featuring the dishes my mom taught me) Saturday, April 14, 11 am

Please let me know when you plan to visit Care House so I can set you up with the access code, instructions, and maybe a carpool buddy:




windchime ritual

My mom loved sitting on the patio, smoking cigarettes, and listening to her windchimes.

For as long as I can remember my mom always wanted windchimes for Mother's day. For as long as I've been journeying back to her house to clean it out and kiss it goodbye, I have been bringing a windchime as an offering. The tree they all hang on was planted by my parents when they had the house built. These windchimes are filled with the wind while filling the emptier house with a song she would like.

When the house is put on the market, these windchimes will be relocated to the playgrounds of all of the elementary schools where my mom was a teacher for 37 years.

photo and interview by Jess Schreibstein. field recording by Ryan Edwards




video still from Care

After six months of being the primary caregiver for my mom through her battle with pancreatic cancer, I had my own chain of emergency surgeries and illnesses of my that left me bedridden  for six months. Care is a video that layers my body's memorized movements to explores both sides of the shifting care giver/care receiver role.

                                                                                 photo by dabfoto creative




Of all the objects that I lost my mom's nightgowns were the most dear embodiments of her. I am learning how to make paper from Armando Rodriguez and I am using my mom's belongings pictured below to make a replacement nightgown.

photos by Jess Schreibstein

Materials list:

Her Baptism bible
Love and apology notes from her highschool sweetheart
Valentines Day cards from her Daddy
$5 from her Mother
Highschool diploma
Yearbook signatures from highschool and college
Sorority pledge cards and welcome cards
Congratulations cards for graduation
Thank you cards from first year teaching
Congratulations cards for wedding
Congratulations cards for son's adoption
Get well cards from surgery to be able to have a baby
Program from the service when her son was baptised
Congratulations cards for birth of daughter
Her mother's obituary
Cigarette butts
Binaca breath spray
Her Dove soap
Her favorite smelling lotion
The paper towels and toilet paper she always had wadded up in her pockets
Sympathy cards from death of her parents
Mothers day cards
Happy birthday cards
Emails she printed out of fights with her daughter in law
Admissions receipts from Cancer center
Grocery shopping list made by daughter for her mom in last months
Daily log of food she was able to eat in last months
Thank you cards from last year teaching
Get well cards from last illness
Pink flowers from outside her house in Spring time
Original copy of the eulogy her daughter wrote and read at her memorial service

photos by dabfoto creative


songs of the house

The voice of my mom's house was recorded in two songs. You can listen here, but are also invited to perform these scores yourself during your visit:

The Song of Arriving

Opening all of the doors, raising all of the blinds, opening all of the windows, turning on all of the lights, turning on all of the fans, airing everything out in a looped ritual through the entire house.

The Song of Departing

Extinguishing all of the lights, turning off all of the fans, shutting all of the doors, closing all of the windows, shutting all of the blinds in a linear ritual until you leave and lock yourself out of the house. 


couch bye

This is the detention basin outside of my neighborhood. There used to be a ditch here where we catch crawdads, go dirt biking, and video our Blair Witch Project spoofs. Now it has these fountains that aerate the water and act as a property asset.

This is the big couch in Care House that was the hearth of the home. It's been reupholstered twice and each fiber has a twin made of memory. It is too loaded for me to keep or throw away, so as the last hoorah when Care House closes, I am going to turn this couch into a raft to float (or sink) as a goodbye.


The neighborhood, Williamsburg Settlement, was built up spanning the last oil bust. The houses are three and four decades old, the trees are mature, and it feels well settled into. Care House spans the arc of the real estate bust as the neighborhood was emptying out, and as everybody wanted to move to newer developments even further out. Beyond the fountains you can see the gigantic dinosaur bone ramp for SH99 constructed to channel them. Doubleparked streets for swim meets were just dotted with elderly couples walking at dusk. The house that Care House was in went for sale along with three other houses on the block, and has since been flipped twice.


Your drive to Care House takes you down the unrelenting copy & paste landscape of I-10. I enjoy the mischief of performing a deeply personal project in what feels like endless, increasingly anonymous sprawl. I like this idea of inserting some myth back into these waters.


couch apart



boat frame

Now that the house is sold I'm holding onto the materials I have left of it. As I started working with the curves of the couch wood I began researching funeral boats and Charon's (the ferryman) vessle for transport between worlds. It arrives at our dimension, 5'1" long inside, skeletal as a frame rather than a containing form.


Positive Negative Casts

An artist, mother and sister-in-law : a cool washcloth on the eyes

A hospice chaplain : just being there with someone, the material of his induction into the medical profession, 
an impression of his grandfather's legacy

A medical student : the "I understand" moment of crossing the patient/person boundary

A physical therapist of eleven years : the yoga pose of taking care of herself, including the medications for a newly diagnosed condition that forced her into it

A patient : the clinical but caring gesture of monitoring her own pulse


If you're interested in making  a cast, we would:
-Meet at Care House
-Trade care giving / care receiving stories
-Decide on a meaningful and relevant gesture
-Hold the involved body parts still in gooey plaster for 20 min
-Display the resulting sculpture in Care House
-Post an image of it and whatever documentation you desire (anonymous or not) to
-You keep the cast afterwards

The process takes less than an hour.

Susan Barry is a nurse and midwife with decades of caregiving experiences. We made this cast of her hand touching my face, the gesture her mom gave her the last time they saw each other as well as the last touch that my Mom gave me in her right mind. Susan's cast includes her mother's cherished belongings: the last notes on life she wrote, pebbles from her favorite park, her brother's birth announcement, and V-mail she received as an army nurse during WWII.

photos by dabfoto creative


Care House Brunch

Thanks for coming yall!

photos by Dean Liscum



sited video

sited video

sited video 

paper sculpture

Song of Arriving
sound and participatory score

Song of Departing
sound and participatory score 

Windchime Ritual
performance practice and sound installation

participatory sculpture series 

Walls Could Talk
photograph intervention 

Compassion Readymade

For Every Future Mothers Day, Love Mom
drawing series

Couch Raft
ditch intervention

 photo by dabfoto creative



Kelly Klaasmeyer

Harbeer Sandhu

Ayanna Jolivet McCloud

Robert Boyd

Dean Liscum


Thank you to everyone who wrote in the guestbook, all of you who sent emails or left treasures, and to Yet for your audio walk through.