7000 Marks  ·  Barn Razing  ·  Betty Rymer  ·  Break  ·  Caledonia (Carbon Pine)  ·  Connect The Lots  ·  Converse  ·  Cure  ·  Drift  ·   Flo[we/u]r  ·  Forever  ·  Happening at Site A  ·  How to Unmake an American Quilt  ·  Johnny Appleseed  ·  K[ne(e){a}d]  ·  Knob  ·  Laboratory for Material Thinking  ·  Long Chain Polymer  ·  New Homestead Act  ·  Paleo.pdf  ·  Past Present Perfect  ·  Past Times  ·  Pleasant Home  ·  Polyculture   ·  Preamble  ·  Project Fielding | Tooling Camp  ·  Project Fielding | Resistance Architecture  ·  Pulling Through  ·  Re.Pur.Pose  ·  Redress  ·  Rutherford Hall  ·  Shock and Awe + New Venus  ·  Siteware  ·  Souvenir  ·  Tapping the Audience  ·  Tea Project  ·  Treacle  ·  Tree Less  ·  Verge  ·  Watershed  ·  Weapons Project  ·  Where There Were Many  ·  With/Draw  ·  Witness Tree ·  Work In Progress  ·  YoYo Magazine

Barn Razing

With Katie Hargrave

Barn Razing is the latest endeavor of Katie and my research-based collaboration that focuses on American history. During the past two years, we have been researching the uses, real and symbolic of pine. Our curiosity around this material began, as it often does for us, when we stumbled upon a little known history, the 1772 Pine Tree Riot. Our initial engagement with this history had to do with early displays of protest and signals of collective citizenship, all through the language of pine. Our interest in collaboration is not limited to the structures people form but how we engage with material.  In all of this, pine continues to be the material through which we articulate and engage research.

Doing is political, but undoing is as well. This became clear during our Barn Razing project, in which we created a platform for activity in a gallery from boards harvested from a collapsed barn. The intense struggle to undo each nail in the barn, some with over one hundred years of resistance, got us thinking about the nature of skill and how it takes just as much know-how to undo as to-do. The prying, requiring full body weight leveraged against a single nail and a flabbergasting amount of learning yielded one nail, a prized harvest. This labor inspired a curiosity about other undoings. What skills might be gained from undoing and how might a collaborative invitation to undo provide a collective space to re-imagining action outside a specific goal?

In the tradition of sewing circles, harvest days, shared grindstones, and, of course, barn raisings, the University community members participated in all aspects of the project from installation through the redistribution of the wood. For the duration of the month long exhibition, students were invited to use the platform in any way they chose. The project transformed and activated an under-utilized space into a meeting space, a lounge, a practice room, and so forth. In the end, community members created their own uses for the material ranging from hoop house frames, tree houses, panels for paintings, to book shelves.

Trinity Art College Gallery — Palos Heights, IL — 2011