Lying Fallow: A Covid Response Artwork

We asked two friends of ours, who had never met, to share their feelings after the first six months of Covid lockdown. Racial bias and the environment figured prominently, but so did small, personal moments where they reflected on their ties to family and community.

The dialogue was generated by Michelle Gay and Libby Shea. Their words were re-interpreted by Grace Bridgman, Michael Copeman, Matthew Dolgin, Marisol Stoltzfus Forand, Philly Markowitz and Heather Saumer.

Blake Gopnik, NY art critic:


THE DAILY PIC is “Lying Fallow Remix,” an online video by Canadian artists Tony Massett and Geoffrey Shea. To make it, the pair took snippets of pandemic-era conversation between two women and put them into the mouths of another half-dozen Zoom-ers.

The result immediately made me think of a Bach fugue — the way Bach takes an everyday text (a Lutheran hymn, say, that his audience would have known by heart) and makes it come alive, with different numbers of voices weaving together at different times, sometimes obscuring the content and sometimes underlining it.

The video feels like poetry taken off the page and turned into something that’s almost spinning in space and time — kind of 3D or, I guess, just cinematic, given new and different life through editing. ”Lying Fallow” helped me realize that editing itself is an amazing artistic medium — even though it’s usually used to produce various realist effects rather than for more formal, Bach-ian  play.

For a full survey of past Pics visit

This project was supported by the Canada Council Digital Originals program.

Love to all.

Tony Massett
Geoffrey Shea