23 day assault by tunnel in Marseille, projecting a private space through
a public place.
Project realized March, 2000During a three week performance/exhibition,
the artist and a crew of workers bored a tunnel through a building housing
galleries, offices and studios, punching through walls and doorways. During
this time the artist lived in the tunnel.
The tunnel was constructed of wood and steel, and formed an overhead passage
that follows the contour of the rooms it crossed, fixed at the upper corner
of the rooms, where wall meets ceiling. The passage was generally the
dimensions of a crawl space, occasionally widening to accommodate turn-arounds,
living space, and storage. The workers worked entirely from within the
tunnel at the ceiling height and continued until they reached the other
side, about 100 meters total. All the materials were brought through the
tunnel, from the tunnel “entrance” to the current work point;
just the opposite of the way an escape tunnel would be made, taking the
material dug out of the length of the tunnel.
The tunnel appropriated a separate space from the gallery; visitors did
not have access to the tunnel; nor did the workers emerge. Termites worked
in the tunnel at all times during gallery hours but were never seen outside
of the tunnel. The termites had specific dress at all times when on the
job. a unique costume. The design of these costumes was based loosely
on Roller Derby uniforms, punked out gym wear and protective gear.
Viewers were able to catch glimpses through the tunnel wall’s loose
structure of the workers as they moved around working and follow the progress
of bodies and materials through the tunnel by the sounds of crawling and
dragging and video monitors.
Live Video Feed and Webcast
The Tunnel utilized electronic media as a primary platform for visitors
to view the piece. There was live video cameras installed in the tunnel
fed to four monitors located on the gallery floor displaying different
views of the tunnel’s interior and work sites. The viewers coould
also send instant e-mail messages to the workers, having on-line chats
about the progress of the piece and how they feel today, whatever.