Amanuensis, (or Things, witnesses!) is a kinetic installation in which suspended objects make drawings when viewers circulate in the exhibition space. The first version was titled Things, witnesses! when the project took shape in Nicosia, a city that has been divided between two Cypriot communities since the war in 1974. The installation implied alternate histories could be embedded in objects that were present during the inter-communal unrest in Cyprus. Stories being embedded in objects, regardless of politics, made the installation relevant elsewhere; when the exhibition traveled the title changed to Amanuensis.

listen to the installation
Sounds of Love and Loss Hoak-Doering, 2010

The first version of the installation took place at the Nicosia Municipal Art Centre (NiMAC) in 2009, where 24 pieces of furniture borrowed from both communities in Nicosia were fitted with prosthetic styluses and suspended over drawing palettes on the ground. Motion detectors triggered motors that made each object jump and begin idiosyncratic movements; visitors indirectly caused the objects to "write". The objects were as diverse as a metal bed frame, an architect’s stool, a hat rack, and a kitchen table - all at least thirty years old - and all mixed together, without indication of their owners identities.

This passive interaction with viewers over the course of days produces drawings unique to each object, and also sounds, both of which have been exhibited separately. The interaction also illustrates the not-so-obscure relationship between objects and personal narrative.

Amanuensis was selected for Temporal Taxonomy: the Cyprus Pavilion in the 54th Venice Biennale of Art (2011).

texts from Temporal Taxonomy
Cyprus Pavilion exhibition catalogue -
A Ghost of a Chance: Mechanical Signatures and Spectral Histories - Elizabeth Hoak-Doering in "Meta-Media and the Multiple Presence: Beyond the Between in the Works of Marianna Christofides and Elizabeth Hoak-Doering"
by Marcia Brennan, 2011
and "Questions of Distance" by Liz Wells, 2011

Since 2009 the project has been included in a number of group exhibitions: Suspended Spaces at the Maison de l’Architecture, Amiens France in (2010), with an online text by Charlène Dinhut, Françoise Parfat, Eric Valette, here. In 2015, it was invited into Our Land / Alien Territory at Moscow Manege as a collateral exhibition to the Moscow Biennale, dealing with the conflict in Ukraine. A critical review in Metropolis M Magazine for Contemporary Art by Servey Guskov is here. It was also selected for the group exhibition Terra Mediterranea in Action (Halle 14, Spinnerei, Leipzig Germany 2016), using locally acquired early 20th century objects.

Things, witnesses! was selected in the 2008 "Open Call", an opportunity for artists in Cyprus to execute large-scale projects with full support of the Nicosia Municipal Art Center (NiMAC) and the Pierides Foundation. It opened in June 2009.

In 2009 the drawings that resulted from the first installation were exhibited in Amanuensis at Pharos Center for Contemporary Art in Nicosia, with an exhibition text, Scribes of Time and Space by Yiannis Toumazis.