Arbirtrary Witness was an installation featuring a "compressed" viewing space (low ceilings, internal fencing, minimal light) designed to create a sense of viewer discomfort. As viewers entered the room to investigate the table and its contents, the unfired ceramic floor tiles (800 in all) would shift and crack underfoot. The unnerving sensation made viewers aware of their typical practice of "detached observation."

Photo: Arbitrary Witness entryway with table and fence in background.

Shawn Busse - Arbitrary Witness, 1995