75 Watt Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen

October 16 - December 3, 2016

Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, 75 Watt (production still), 2013, chromogenic print, printed on acrylic billboard, 72” x 108”. Image courtesy of the artists.

For each exhibition, the Blackwood Gallery presents an artwork in the Bernie Miller Lightbox, a billboard-sized (108" x 72") venue installed on the outside of the William Davis Building (formerly known as South Building) where the two wings of the building meet at the end of the "Five Minute Walk".

75 Watt is curated by Letters & Handshakes as part of the exhibition I stood before the source, on view from October 16 – December 3, 2016.

Project Description

“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)

In 75 Watt, 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 human-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 artifact 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 between March 10–19, 2013 and resulted in 40 objects and a film documenting the choreography of their assembly.

Choreography: Alexander Whitley
Film production: Siya Chen

Artist Biography

Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are London-based artists working across objects, installation, and film. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2008, they have been exhibiting and lecturing internationally. Recent exhibitions took place at Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Lunds Konsthall, Moscow Biennale of Young Art, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna), Fotomuseum Winterthur, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), HKW (Berlin), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Recent screenings and artist talks include the ICA (London), TENT Rotterdam, Congo International Film Festival (Goma), and Cenart (Mexico City). Their work is in the permanent collections of MoMA and M+ Museum (Hong Kong).

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