Free Muscle Memory

International Design Biennial St. Etienne & Krux Amsterdam, 2017

Performance during the International Design Biennial in St. Etienne, 2017.

“(…) The capacity to build and construct, in the muscles of many long forgotten, makes for a more self-sufficient individual, whose reflexes are trained to adapt to eventful times.”

A three day participatory performance proposed as a workout, inviting visitors to train their minds to memorize and familiarize the movements of utilizing power tools.
The participants will acquire the choreography of these power tools, and will try-out their gained knowledge into producing two simple modules.

“(…) In this workout we will train the movements of cutting, drilling, sawing. After having memorized the movements, we’ll start building together, as part two of the workout, to form a muscular bond, as described by historian professor William H. McNeill in his book Keeping Together in Time – Dance and Drill in Human History. Muscular bonding is the euphoric fellow feeling that occurs when rhythmic movements arouses nearly all the participants in an exercise.”

Unknown for the participants is that they are used as free labour forces producing work, which will later — once shipped to the Netherlands — be assembled into a twelve meter long bench exhibited alongside the video of the workshop and their worker’s uniforms.

Installation setup (Krux Amsterdam, 2017)

Free Muscle Memory Workout (HD video, 10’17”)
Jackets: 10 worker’s jackets in varying sizes
Bench: Pine wood, threaded rod, blue laquer, coupling nuts (1200 x 80 x 72,5cm)

Camera & choreo: Kitty Maria
Workout music: Philippe Wolthuis
Editor: Tom Kemp
With the kind support of Lucky Larry’s Cosmic Commune, the Tool Department st. Etienne and the participants: Daria Ayvazova, Lorie Bayen, Jonathan Beneteau, Pierre Bujeau, Martin Caillaud, Lauriane Carra, Constantin Dichtl, Esthelle Frois, Samuel Hackwill, Elizabeth Hale, Noe Herbet, Benoît Jacquin, Thomas Larbain, Jacob Lyon, Abby Nka, Valentin Noiret, Clémentine Post, Tom Prybilski, Janne Schimmel & Bruno Ziebell.