Production Management: Kaya Nakamura 646.707.4622
Managing Director/School of Hard Knocks: Bonnie Sue Stein
Shredded is a new installation that includes a series of three daily performances that gradually alter the initial installation work.
“It’s like I’m almost obsessed with the shred, you know,” Yoshiko said.
It’s all started with shredded paper. The idea of filling a space with the shredded paper and transforming it to a completely different and new space was the primary concept Yoshiko Chuma had, for her latest work in the U.S., A-C-E ONE, for the River to River Festival. A precious and delicate oasis like space, which was designed by Interboro Partners who recently won the MoMA P.S.1’s Young Architect Program 2011, the LentSpace is located in the midst of high corporate buildings. The artist thought of drastically transforming the park by spreading the shredded paper from end to end; however, not only was collecting shredded paper difficult but technical restrictions challenged her concept. Imagine the combination of shredded paper, wind and weather outdoors…
Bonnie Sue Stein, the producer of A-C-E ONE, describes her experience of collecting shredded paper:
Shred first, trash last.
My goal was to try to gather as much shredded paper as possible so we could optimally fill the entire LentSpace with shredded paper. The first thought I had was how easy it would be to gather the paper. Every office shreds paper and puts it into a plastic bag for recycling collection. If we could gather paper from the office buildings nearby, that would be more than enough. But in this age of top security and shoe inspection at airports, getting “shred” - our nickname for shredded paper - was not going to be as easy as I imagined.
First of all, the reason documents are shredded in the first place is so that no one has access to the intimate, private, sensitive, classified and confidential nature of the information printed onto the paper. In fact, there is security insurance from the trucking and recycling shredding companies that collected bags of shredded paper go directly from your office to a clean destruction and recycling location. Shredding is an intimate but impersonal act. The condom of privacy assurance.
Ok, so I was not going to be able to get the paper from the office buildings nearby.
A school called with "tons of shredded paper if you can come right away". Alas, where could we store it? the tragedy of missed opportunity slid past. A paper company in Staten Island gruffly informed me: "You wouldn't want our shred. It has everything from the street--shredded paper, coffee cups, and some really filthy stuff. We make it into cardboard."
Next, a friend called to say that the 2nd Annual SHREDFEST was going to be held again in several parks around the city. Aha! Great, now I would be able to go the location and collect all I needed.
Again, not so easy.
The headline of the press release announcing the event was clear:
CITY OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE 2ND ANNUAL SHRED FEST TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT
-City Offers Tips to Consumers and Businesses to Help Prevent the Fastest Growing Crime in the Country
So we contacted THE CITY and were politely told that even if I bring my own 20 boxes of paper to be shredded for free at Shredfest, I cannot take away the shred. My own shred would become property of the shredding companies who were donating their time and their trucks for the primary purpose of decimating any traceable identity markings on my documents. Therefore, I would be giving up my documents to the recycling machines. SHRED FEST did not promise festive gaeity, confetti or dancing in the streets. It was utilitarian. It was the dark side of identity protection.
Here is their exact words:
For legal and safety reasons, the document destruction companies involved with Shred Fest will not be able to open their trucks to disburse any shredded materials. The majority of all materials will be recycled and not meant to be used for any other purposes again to ensure consumer protection when it comes to personal information. I would still recommend you contact either the individual companies or the Business Integrity Commission for possible solutions for your project.
Meanwhile, my colleague talked to someone at ALPHA University (name withheld) who inquired nervously: "Is it Ballet?", and assured that it was not, became intrigued by the project, and offered to help out. “If you come by the day before the recycling day, then you can pick up as much as you want. We cannot hold it for you, so you have to be there the day before it goes out to the street. Just don’t give us any credit.” He said.
So the weekly adventure began.
The first time we reported to the scene, no one knew what we were talking about. I was to find a gentleman named Michael. A kind man led me to the kitchen, where Michael was the head chef. “Wrong Michael”, I said. Then I went to the loading dock area near the dumpsters and a man was sitting quietly in a chair in the corner. “Are you Michael?” I asked? Indeed he was and from that week on, every Tuesday we reported to the loading dock and Michael came out with a huge cart full of shredded paper in bags. I preferred the longer shreds, and colorful ones, so the following week, there were lots of those and more and more, until we had all we wanted and more than we needed.
Each week, we drove away quickly, our own clandestine operation successfully achieved, our giant covert mount of shredded paper growing, our performance date getting closer..
The result of this is what you see today Shred -- A character in performance.
After the A-C-E ONE project finished, the idea of filling a space with the shredded paper became Yoshiko’s obsession and the impetus for this project, Shredded.
contact: Kaya Nakamura 646.707.4622