As a result of shovelling piles and discussions about walking as a base for artistic practice, this series of questions was generated by my peers:
Do you think it important to highlight simplicity that exists in our world?
The thing about paying attention to simplicity is that it requires one to slow down, for example eating a plate of food for the sake of nourishment and doing nothing else while eating it. So yes I would say so.
How do you differentiate between repetitive labor that is purposeful and that which is purposeless?
Perhaps all of it is purposeless or all of it is purposeful, is there differentiation between them?
What does the act of labor mean to you. Could it be related to procrastination in a sense?
Andrea Fraser said that we must pay for freedom through labor. I identify with this and understand it is rooted in Marxism. My modest understanding of Marxism is currently set at a state of believing it is an ideology of the past. Class-based society is thriving. So the perceived freedom I may be thriving for is non-existent. In a sense then labor could be regarded as procrastination because it does nothing to ensure a positive socio-economic change in things to come (and many may believe a change is unnecessary).
What is your accomplished meter in your practice? Was moving the gravel worth it just for the blisters or is it more of a complicated entanglement of purposeful vs. purposeless labor?
I feel like something has been accomplished when I have the ability to completely devote myself to the work at hand for a period of time.
Where in this work is the magic for you?
The brief experience of what might be called magic in the shovelling work was its moment of conception while on a walk--there's something very gratifying about perceiving of an idea while in motion breathing fresh air—a link was made between language I had used metaphorically and the possibility of embodying it.
Are you nostalgic for the loss of walking as a loss of humanity?
In a way, yes. Loss of human potential.
Are earbuds and cellular devices alibis- ways of making walking acceptable by removing the potential for boredom - is it a way of keeping up with the speed of the world and blocking deliberate reflection?
I think it is often a challenge for someone to do just one thing at a time. Walking with earbuds is an entirely different kind of walk than just walking. It is a step away from committing to walking for walking’s sake.
How do you think about the spatial role when you explore your performance in terms of your labor and maintenance?
While exploring action such as shovelling gravel, I feel embedded in a certain spatial relation between my body and the pile. There is an exchange there. The use of free, outdoor available space feels indulgent when being attuned to its worth from a real estate perspective.
Where do our bodies go in the future, how do history and the present inform physicality?
In the future, I hope my body is still free to walk in space- the one contained directly above ground. It has been the same action throughout history and I trust it will continue to be the same. Depending on what lens we consider physicality through, one could argue that it is the driving force behind evolution. Yet, as we continue to evolve, our body is less needed in the process and this extends to the mind being less needed as we develop intensely intimate and dependent relationships with personal devices. However, our body is still needed in that it is an accountable entity but not one that is physical.
How are some works cheapened and others raised to meditative?
Intent makes a difference. Couldn’t anything be meditative? Meditative work is not an elevation for me, it is an evening out.
How do timing, specifically physical pacing, play into your practice? What about repetition and novelty and the way they both inform performance?
Physical pacing not only helps me organize efficiency or rhythm in the action at hand, it helps me organize my thoughts beyond the action. There is something regenerative about the completion of a straightforward task. I often think about repetition in relation to desire-as a comment on consumerism and mass production the continuous need to fulfill an empty space by shopping. I am not trying to build tension. Aesthetically, I also think of a repeated pattern in action. Repetition offers a breather in a way, rest from everything else that requires a more complex engagement. It also forms a relationship with time.
Is it possible that the walks you are interested in are attempts to build a relationship with your city and the people and places your encounter everyday?
At this time, I prefer semi-rural walks and although I enjoy exchanging pleasantries or oddities with the individuals encountered, I most often prefer just being outside with my dog. During the work week, I walk with her early mornings and evenings. At this time of year it is dark at those times-these walks are my favourite as opposed to walking to and from work which is more like commuting in a sense. So for me the walks are a contemplative part of my practice.
Is physicality a connection to purity?
Physicality is linked to a perception of freedom. For me, it stems from the need to experience a present physical reality which involves moving and breathing air in the outdoors as an alternative to living in a past, future, hyperreal or alternate environment.
Can one just present something without inevitable conclusion of whatever our politics are? Is that reasonable?
I’m not sure politics can be left to the wayside if one is engaging in critical discourse on their contemporary position. For me, it’s making sure these thoughts are communicated in a way that is relational.