• MoMA, Floor 2, 216

According to the Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, the average laborer can sustain an output of about seventy-five watts over the course of an eight-hour day. Inspired by this finding, Cohen and Van Balen shifted laborers’ actions from the efficient production of objects to the performance of choreography. The designers collaborated with choreographer Alexander Whitley and with workers at the White Horse Electric Factory in Zhongshan, China, to create an assembly-line dance. By placing attention on the process instead of the result, the designers sought to question “the nature of mass-manufacturing products on various scales, from the geopolitical context of labor to the biopolitical condition of the human body on the assembly line.”

Gallery label from 2022
Video (color, sound)
(video): 11 min.
The Modern Women's Fund
Object number
Architecture and Design

Installation views

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