Now continues Woolard’s interest in time-keeping devices. Rather than understanding time as neatly divisible, linear, and disciplinary—the project of modernization—this artwork begins with the premise that contemplative visual art practices can offer an experience of time which is specifically marked by our social engagement with one another.
The single-channel video was made possible by Jeff Sterrenberg, director of photography and editor, and Meerkat Media. Meerkat is a production company cooperative and arts collective committed to making films through a non-hierarchical collaborative process.
A glass form sags as it connects to an electrical box in Caroline Woolard’s TA73060918 (2018). The sculpture points at viewers’ attachments to devices that must always be charging; Woolard provides outlets which induce desire but which cannot hold a charge. The title, Ta, refers to the periodic table symbol for tantalum. An element distinguished by its exceptional anti-corrosive and conductive capacity, tantalum’s presence becomes more common every day; it is crucial in the production of ever-smaller, ever more durable electronic devices, from cell phones to laptops to all varieties of consumer and industrial electronics. Tantalum makes possible our lives of power, portability, and networked sociality. The element’s name derives from Tantalus, the Greek mythological figure who is condemned to stand knee-deep in water for eternity, surrounded by succulent fruits that are just beyond reach.
This project was supported by a residency at Pilchuck Glass School where Woolard had the privilege of working with gaffers Jason Christian and Daryl Smith, and assistants Emily McBride and Phoebe Stubbs.
Measures come to us pre-formed and static. This certainty is what allows them to work as measures, of course. But to have a measure then requires that someone is subject to a measure, and in being measured, individuals and groups are denied their own forms of signification. Measurement is always a collective process whose very collectivity is overshadowed by the tool which represents it. These glass objects are countermeasures; they seek to access an immaterial value of the present that originates from nowhere other than the people holding the object. Made of glass and filled with mineral oil, each object may reach a level state through the process of being shared, held, and manipulated. In gatherings facilitated by the artist, visitors are asked to remove these objects from the wall and reach a level with others in the space, whether friends or strangers.
This project was supported by a residency at Pilchuck Glass School where Woolard had the privilege of working with gaffers Jason Christian and Daryl Smith, assistants Emily McBride and Phoebe Stubbs, and coldworker Celeste Wilson.