ILSSA: Every Day Work

Every Day Work chronicles one full year (January 1 – December 31, 2011) of Impractical Labor as practiced by a dedicated group of ILSSA members. On every day worked, members saved remnants of their process in a dated envelope. In early January 2012, members sent their envelopes and/or a representative tool to the Hammes Gallery at Saint Mary’s College. One envelope is posted on the gallery wall for each worked day. On the gallery floor, the saved remnants are grouped by month, with remnants from each day organized in rows. The exhibition is a visual chronology of every day worked by union members, wherever they may have been. Together with the tools, the show provides a glimpse into the nature of such work.

Upon the show’s closing, Saint Mary’s College students will be offered the remnants for their own creative reuse. In the next installment of this exhibition, members’ envelopes will be chronologically collated and bound into a collection of books. The collection will be displayed and then distributed to all participating members.

Of the many obsessive compulsive activities I engaged in in 2011, this was the compulsive-est. It was really satisfying to send off my shoes boxes of little envelopes after a year of saving my proofs, wood carving shards and linoleum scraps. Goodbye my dear little anxiety by-products! I received an email after Bridget and Emily were done installing thanking me and two others for being the most assiduous savers. Overachievers unite!

The exhibition is up until March 2. If you happen to be in Notre Dame, Indiana check it out. Thank you to Bridget Elmer and Emily Larned for organizing.

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