Video, 10:31mins, 2011.
In this video two hands methodically pick at a type of pine leaf. The focus is neither on the hands, nor the ocean and its surfers, but on the grass. This regard from the camera and the motion of the hands evokes a sense of meditation. I see this process of picking as similar to the grass cutting that appears in the video Wash, Rinse and Repeat, further exploring Walter De Maria’s idea of meaningless work.
De Maria describes meaningless work as “work that does not make you money or accomplish a conventional purpose” and that has anti-institutional or anti-commodifying values (De Maria 1960). I like how this idea raises questions around the politics of the everyday, and suggests that individual experience is to be valued rather than mindlessly compliant to social conventions. In this project, repetitive action through meaningless work is one approach I use to make art, because although repetitive actions often refer to work, they also provide a meditative space for me to creatively think from. By acting out an absurd repetitive task, the conventional understanding of work becomes disrupted: it becomes a play with, and reorganisation of, the everyday.