Separation Anxiety

2016, three-channel video, multiple durations

In 2015, I visited Shenzhen, China to interview migrant factory workers. The interview gave inspiration to document the repetitive motions they perform on the assembly line. From keyboard assemblage, packing hair dryers to painting art replicas, the video performance draws attention to the workers’ complex relationship with the hardware they produce: on one hand they are physically and culturally alienated from their creations, while on the other hand their understanding of the hardware are somatic and highly intimate.

Installation view at Labor in a Single Shot, Margie West Gallery, Athens GA.
Xiao Zhang re-enacts memories of assembling keyboards in the factory.
Xiao Zhen is a part-timer who drifts from one factory to another. One of his jobs required soldering.
Xiao Zhen packing hair dryers.
Zhen was trained as a graphic designer in her hometown before moving to Shenzhen. She now works at a painting factory in Dafen Village.