Susan Hiller is an American born artist, her practice practice encompassing installation, photography, video and performance. For her work Witness she has gathered first-hand reports of encounters with UFOs or aliens posted on internet sites world-wide. Hiller sees this activity as related to older forms of confession, ways of placing fears into the public arena. Gathering this information becomes an exploration of a kind of contemporary folklore, one in which alien contact is offered as explanation for the inexplicable. The work is like a cave of thin silvery stalactites that turn out to be wires with miniature speakers attached, where one can listen to the testimonies of encounters with UFOs.
“Listening to these people whispering in your ears is like being a priest in a confessional. The whole piece is built upon the shape of the cross and the circle. There are four pathways where you can enter the inner circle of the installation… The religious symbolism of the cross in the circle is crucial because the stories are examples of contemporary visionary experience. Only today people see UFOs where once they saw angels.” – Hiller