Performance: carton of eggs

Shipping pallets; white fir, oriented strand board, carton of eleven free-range chicken eggs; one fertile chicken egg
July 2022

Note: this is an iterant realisation of an ongoing work

A dozen eggs sit within an incubator, lifted from the shelves of a supermarket. One is fertile. To what extent do we, as consumers, hold any awareness of food production? The last chain of the supply line is all that remains visible to the consumer—these goods are functional sculptures, but fail to leave traces of their creation. This is new phenomena: ‘the voice of the current somnambulism’.

The concept of technological somnambulism was spawned from that quote, and encourages us to consider societal reorganisation as the primary confluence of technical achievement. We sleepwalk through our mediations with technology, and fail to recognise the consequent effects on self. I do not know where these eggs came from, and neither could you.

The incubator is constructed of found industrial offcuts, including shipping pallets and panels of oriented strand board. It feels appropriate to reflect a production pipeline in which we track goods through warehouse-to-grave. It is not a context into which most people will ever need to set foot, but forms the foundation of the contemporary supply line.

In exhibiting the work, consider a month-long performance: the egg sits, embryonic. At the end of this process, a chick may (or may not) hatch. The sculpture becomes thereafter charged with duration, and an inclination towards bioart.

I found the wood piled against the entrance to a warehouse. Exposed to the elements, this entire stock was to be collected as waste. I quickly arranged to save as much as I could, sparing it from flood. Forklifted, sawed, and packaged into an enormous cardboard box—I conspicuously lugged the entire supply through public transportation.

The acrylic sheet is held by a bracket fabricated from scrap wheelchair steel; sawed, folded, punched, and filed from a flat sheet. This was all built in accordance with a 3D model and isometric sketches produced prior.

Liam Macann works though a profusion of new media art disciplines, operating out of Sydney. His works often investigate the philosophy of technology, alongside themes of labour, chance, and social history.