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Project Site:
Sinclair-Wilson-Farmstead Meatpacking Plant - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Funded by:
The National Endowment for the Arts/ Creation Program
The Illinois Arts Council
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
The Iowa Arts Council
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs


This large-scale sequential site activation at the former Sinclair-Wilson-Farmstead meatpacking plant in the devastated industrial neighborhood of Oak Hill explored the changing face of work in the post-industrial Midwest. The audience was herded, like doomed animals, onto a stock truck, driven onto and through the site, subjected to a sequence of ten visual site activations.

These visual scenarios were enacted against a soundscape which layered human narration over the tyranny of machines. Spotlights and text/ video projections reanimated the meatpacking plant, with performers interacting around and upon the stock truck, remembering the engrained movements of women working on the relentless production line.

This public art and design program reclaimed and updated the practice of public inscription on behalf of invisible communities. It was an assertive act of urban infiltration, to appropriate, reconfigure, and inscribe buildings and structures-reclaiming site history - to inform and impact the future development of this industrial site. While recovering the oral histories of women who worked at Sinclair-Wilson-Farmstead, this program explored the impact of labor and its relationship to gender.