cedar, aluminum, removal operation protocol

Because of assimilation and moves toward whiteness in my recent family history I've felt the loss of cultural expression, and I explored this by producing an heirloom designed to consume itself slowly over the next 8,000 years. I found the scrap end of the cedar ridgepole from my grandfather's house and noticed that it still had the cut marks from when he used a saw to cut the beam during installation. The phrase “making the cut” is an idiomatic expression that can be used to talk about approval dynamics and I wanted to see how this could be transformed into a ritual to explore parent-child relationship dynamics and the transmission of a family line. As a ritual process of grieving, I had my father use my grandfather's saw to replicate the saw cut that my grandfather had made on this beam. He cut only a saw-blade's thickness off of the beam, replicating the cut and effectively erasing the trace of my grandfather's cut. My father then collected the sawdust into a vessel. When my father dies I will perform the protocol and erase his cut. When I die, my child will perform the action and erase my cut. If this continues, based on the dimensions of the beam and the width of the saw blade, and assuming an average generation of 21 years, it will take 8,000 years to destroy itself as a record of lineage. 


Seen / Unseen / Not Seen (2017)