Labour Day

A simplified, final installment of The Task. The title speaks about commitment and work ethic.

Take one skid of standard 8″ concrete block and move the contents to an opposing skid a short distance away. Continue back and forth at a comfortable rate until exhaustion sets in. Breaks will be taken to eat and drink and for the washroom but the simple, repetitive, pointless journey back and forth will continue for as long as possible and at a steady a rate while recording the scene on continuous video/audio. The work should be done neatly if not compulsively. If it can be done for 12 hours, do that. if I can manage 24 so be it.

Perform the piece in the Mercer back gallery space taking care to place the opposing skids in an aesthetically calculated way. The camera set up should work so that the video fits into the final gallery set up in kind. Meaning I want to think about how the process is filmed and how to play it back in such a way that it looks good but the video will display the action like the viewer is looking through a window at it. The work could finish with some block on both pallets. It could finish with one uniform full skid and one empty skid. Once it is complete mount a video screen on the wall of the gallery to play back the real time performance… However long it ends up being. No edits or treatments. One single shot over however long it takes. On the opposite wall there should be a printed label that tabulates all the statistics involved including how many block, how much time it took, weight, etc.

The exhibition will be the static skid that people can touch to gauge the block weight, the other skid – either partially or empty, the video playing on a loop on the wall and the statistics.

The more I think about it the more the skids should be left in mid “job” so that the emphasis is taken off the “goal”. I would like the piece to be viewed as a monument to work itself, not a specific job, task or purpose.

When shooting the video record the sound in super high quality to be played back at a level that mimics the actual sound of the 12 hours of work.

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In a meadow or on some secluded lawn, subtly mark out a 50′ circle. Preferably in a bit of a depression, valley, or beside a hill.

Set up a video camera and shoot a pic that encompasses the circumference of the circle, also shoot a still image of the secluded lawn prior to the performance.

Start filming as I repeatedly walk around and around the perimeter of the marked circle. Try it for like 6 hours or until a well worn path has emerged. Stop filming.

Take a picture of the newly created path.

Would be really cool in a dirt field in the rain. The mud would exaggerate and amplify the path.

I was toying with the idea of creating and photographing or filming more pathways like ‘circular path” with the same theme. A path that abruptly ends, a path that leads directly into water or over a cliff, one that leads directly into a wall, one that turns with an abrupt right angle, several pathways to parked cars suggesting the same route to a parked car is taken every day, two pathways that head directly towards each other then abruptly end.


June 1st, 2012 addition
Adendum for Paths

Experiment with different methods of giving a birds eye view

Existing structure
Skimmer pole

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