Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Re: Re: Agent

For "Re: Re: Agent", we proposed a project that would comment on the scope and nature of the initiative while using the archives of the project to build itself. In the work, nearly all of the business cards (roughly four thousand) collected during the initiative were employed. The cards effectively become their own map, overlapping layers of type, photographs, and personal information.

The structure of the work is geographically accurate, with each panel corresponding to a different time zone (reading from west to east, or left to right, across the wall). Business cards are placed strategically, replicating the travel routes of all the participating independent agents who made their way to centrally located cities in order to meet with executives and representatives from the Seattle office. The underlying network of sewn cards replicates major roadways across the county and provides a support structure (and point of reference) for the project during its development.

Each strip of paper is created by sewing together (by hand) business cards from the agents that visited those corresponding cities (wherever possible), and then shredding the cards into equal strips. Each strip included here translates to a single agent, and as the meetings occurred in major cities, clusters of strips represent meeting areas.

Working with a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) analyst, we were able to generate a physical model of the initiative, translating thousands of cardholders into points of reference. From this map, we were able to see the form that this work would take, although the rich texture, dense palette, and collision of type, image, and paper stock continues to be surprising and challenging to us.

Through the course of this project, we began to feel as though we were traveling with the agents—navigating new cities, meeting more people than we can remember, and sharing the fatigue of travel. We spent an entire day in Texas--our Texas, a Texas that covered roughly two square feet on our studio floor, and saw hundreds of strips of paper sewn, shredded, and bonded together. We see the design of this work as a proposition; an opportunity to discuss the activity of the Re:Agent initiative while considering its implications in your new space, its place in the collection, and our own experiences mapped onto the Re: Agent initiative.

Installation views, Safeco Insurance, Seattle, WA, 2007.

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