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Sweeping – October 20 to 26th, 2010 (fall)

Sweeping – Day 1: Friday, October 22, 2010 (please scroll down this page)
Sweeping – Day 2: Monday, October 25, 2010
Sweeping – Day 3: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SITE:  the north-west corner of Robinson Street south and Cowie street, Granby.  The former location of a Texaco Service Station that was demolished a few years ago.  The site has been decontaminated (the subterranean gas reservoirs were removed as was most of the soil to about 30 feet below ground level). Approximately 20% of the 160′ x 135′ property remains covered in asphalt. (see map)

ACTIONS: I swept the site, removing the accumulated debris such as gravel, leaves, weeds and garbage from the parts of the site that are covered in asphalt (due to the removal of contaminated soil the majority of the site is a sand surface not conducive to sweeping).

In working the pragmatic aesthetic the site has been treated with brooms and shovels as a large two-dimensional surface that will have its intrinsic beauty revealed.  Off to the side, at least off the asphalt, I created three (3) piles of dirt, one (1) pile of debris such as plywood, bricks, broken television, fire retardant brick, concrete, stone,asphalt, wood, etc., and one (1) pile of bundled branches.

On the cleared site, when all the debris was pile to one side,  I installed a temporary “monument” to commemorate the ephemeral results of sweeping.  The monument was made of garbage replicas cast in beeswax.

Granby Public Works – Municipal Garage
Starting during the fall period in October, 2010, and continuing for the subsequent two periods in February and May, 2011, I went to work, in a manner of speaking, at the Granby Municipal Works Garage.  I began my day as the blue collar workers assembled to receive their work orders and then at 8:00 a.m. I punched-in and headed out to the site to start my designated seasonal tasks (having already received my work orders for the day).  At noon, I returned to the Garage and punched-out for lunch. I ate and chatted with the mechanics as most of the other municipal workers were out in the city and ate on site or, for some, went home for lunch.  At 1:00 p.m. I punched-in and returned to the site and my tasks.  I was back in the Municipal Works Garage by 5:00 p.m. to punch-out, ending my work day.  This pattern was repeated for each of the five days that I was ‘at work’ until the end of my work week and the end of that particular period of the project.

In addition to my actions, I installed a map of Granby pinned to the wall with a blue line tracing my walk along the Main Street in August with notes in red ink showing where I found garbage, where I disposed of full garbage bags, where I ate/rested, where I placed/threw the beeswax replicas and other miscellaneous bits of information.  Beneath the map were four 3.5 inch video monitors that displayed scenes taken during the two days of my walk. Below the monitors a shelf held copies of the beeswax replicas of garbage that I placed/threw out along the Main Street.  (for more, please see Public Works)

The asphalt section of the site, from the north-west corner, before it was cleaned.

Photo: Cloé Alain Gendreau

Photo: Cloé Alain Gendreau

Photo: Cloé Alain Gendreau

Photo: Cloé Alain Gendreau

Photo: Cloé Alain Gendreau

Photo: Cloé Alain Gendreau

I am staking the perimeter of the site that is covered with asphalt, which I need to know when I return in February to shovel the snow.

Sweeping – Day 2: Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweeping – Day 3: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Return to the top of this page (Sweeping – Day 1)


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