75 Watt

Cohen Van Balen
75 Watt (2013)


75 Watt is a performance carried out unintentionally by Chinese factory workers. They are assembling a product that has been designed to create a series of choreographed actions by those constructing it. The workers manipulate neon wire, test mechanisms with a succession of movements, and measure lengths using their bodies. The product is an object that has no function other than to produce these movements by the maker. The title refers to the average output of a labourer over the course of an 8-hour day according to Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers. By equating a person to an output, the factory system mechanises human movement. 75 Watt reinterprets this into dance, turning the devision of labour into an intricately choreographed collaborative performance.

Currently on show at FACT as part of the exhibition Time & Motion: Redefining Working Life

Choreography by Alexander Whitley.

Images from http://www.cohenvanbalen.com/