A COLLABORATION BETWEEN REVITAL COHEN & TUUR VAN BALEN AND ALEXANDER WHITLEY
“A labourer over the course of an 8-hour day can sustain an average output of about 75 watts”
(Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers)
A product is designed especially to be made in China. The object’s only function is to choreograph a dance performed by the labourers manufacturing it.
The work seeks to explore the nature of mass-manufacturing products on various scales; from the geo-political context of hyper-fragmented labour to the bio-political condition of the human body on the assembly line. Engineering logic has reduced the factory labourer to a man-machine, through scientific management of every single movement. By shifting the purpose of the labourer’s actions from the efficient production of objects to the performance of choreographed acts, mechanical movement is reinterpreted into dance. What is the value of this artefact that only exists to support the performance of its own creation? And as the product dictates the movement, does it become the subject, rendering the worker the object?
The assembly/dance took place in Zhongshan, China between 10-19 March 2013 and resulted in 40 objects and a film documenting the choreography of their assembly.