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Untitled (2021)
An online performance presented on Tuesday 19 January 2021 by the Power Plant Gallery, Toronto, as part of Field Trip.


In this durational performance, eight corded power tools are arranged around two switching power supplies. A DMX processor has been programmed to randomly turn on and off the eight tools, at different times and for different durations; one, two and occasionally three at a time.

The outcome is entirely unpredictable; the power tools may attack one another, sever power cords, or lacerate the central controller. Or they might spin benignly on the floor. Whatever happens, will be documented close up by a roaming handheld POV camera. This is the first time the performance will be publicly presented.

This performance furthers the artist's ongoing exploration into industrial infrastructure in post-industrial societies, and the possibilities of repurposing materials, tools and processes. Untethered from their prescribed uses, the tools will here function in sculptural, sonic and choreographic ways. The outcome could be balletic, with moments of tension and poignant interaction. Or it could result in a cacophonous writhing "rat’s nest" with disastrous, destructive potential.

This fraught pandemic moment brings with it the daily task of making do. As we encounter shortage and unavailability, sometimes a workaround can be found by squeezing other uses out of things that are readily at hand. Our objects must become as adaptable as we are.

Josh Heuman, The Power Plant's Curator of Education & Public Programs, introduced the work.

Grateful acknowledgements: the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Gaëtane Verna, Josh Heuman, Struts & Faucet residency, Annie Koyama

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