On 13th June, the artists Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen (winners of VIDA 14.0) will be presenting, at Work Space Brussels, their recent project 75 Watt, which explores the dynamics of industrial production of consumer goods and in particular the coordination of workers on an assembly line.
The artists have created a product specifically designed to be manufactured in China. The purpose of the object is to establish a particular choreography, which is performed by the workers when manufacturing it. Thus, the mechanical movements of the operators, “robotised” by the execution of a series of repetitive tasks every day, are reinterpreted as a dance. The object itself becomes meaningless once it has been assembled, since it is the process of creation that determines its purpose, while the workers involuntarily become the subject of a series of actions that are imposed on them by the manufacturing instructions.
Performing the choreography conceived by Alexander Whitley, a group of participants assembled a total of 40 objects in a factory in Zhongshan (China). The action has been recorded in a video and a series of photographs that form part (along with the objects) of the artistic performance. The uselessness of the manufactured product and the strange actions that the workers are forced to carry out make us reflect on the dehumanization imposed by mass production and the questionable need for many of the consumer items that surround us.