Fieldwork Process

About FieldWork

FreshKills park is the careful transformation of the world’s largest landfill into a public park 2 1/2 times the size of central park. It has been called a ‘social sculpture’, an artificial land mass formed by all the garbage created by all the residents and tourists of New York from 1948 until 2001, adding about 650 tons to its mounds every day. The park’s construction began in October 2008 and is slated to continue in phases for at least 30 years. When fully developed by 2035-37.

FreshKills is a monument to the values of conspicuous consumption that created it: the perceived need for convenience and privilege of care-lessness. But it is also a monument to the hours, months, and years of toil spent by working classes laboring to produce and distribute the discarded food and goods within its mounds.

Before, beyond, in service to the garbage that built FreshKills—the millions of tons of abandon styrofoam clamshells, shampoo bottles, hot dogs, diapers, sofas, school papers, bills, spice jars, leftover salad, lasagne pans, grocery bags, and ripped blue jeans—are the bodies at work that produced and distributed all of these items before they became garbage. Fieldwork excavates this labor, a history of production that mirrors the history of civilization from agriculture to industry to the logistics of distribution. These domains are set against the labor of scientific fieldwork: itself a form of production. Producing knowledge through careful measurement and observation by contrast, though, brings the body back into the rhythms of nature and realigns the body with the earth.

In an age mediated by digital technologies that amplify and increase the distance and disconnection with the origins of materiality and methods of production, Fieldwork represents and simulates repeated gestures from these longstanding histories of production to bring viewers into contact—in a way, to touch, through manipulation of the 360˚ space of the camera—with the site and the labor of its contents.

Fieldwork is the choreography of learned slices from production processes and the embodied configurations of repeated effort in order to find a new consciousness to, sensitivity to, and fathoming of the unrecognized forms of sweat and toil that are as present in these mounds as the objects they created.



How Amazon Fulfillment Works

2:03: scanning and sorting

2:35 closing/labeling boxes

Inside one of amazon’s busiest days

1:11 picking

1:30 picking

2:18 sorting/scanning

3:12 boxing/belting

3:38 stacking

Inside Amazon: Secrets of an Online Mega-Giant

1:52 picking and scanning

2:40 walking

2:53 walking

3:46 taping

Cyber Monday at Amazon’1 1 million sq-ft

2:06 boxing


1:42 apple picking

1:52 apple picking

2:14 apple picking

2:53 nectarine picking



1:13 picking

1:26 picking

1:30 carrying/throwing-1:45

California’s farms face series labor shortage

:30 low picking

Morgan Spurlock becomes a fruit picker (!)

1:11 >> preparing for pole beans