Andrew Sunley Smith, 2001
Urn is an early simple experimental project which attempts to stimulate social interaction and awareness of generosity and effort. A social, site specific experiment.
Urn is constructed in response to a site specific dilemma stemming from lack of collaboration. Whereby students at a university art school could not get mobilised and organise their tea and coffee making facilities. I provided this facility, but secretly, providing no explanation. Urn was built using very strict parameters using only recycled wood and installed using a set budget of $100.00 AUD.
“ I wanted to see, just what sort of socially sensitive and significant project could be achieved on a small budget, and make an artwork which demonstrated my interest in pragmatic outcomes as well as get people to extend and go a little further, I also wanted a mechanism to get people talking over a shared aim”
“ It’s also about humble…unseen work, and the service industry, what we take for granted.. things which are provided for us… tea is a great and simple start, all we do is get to the shelf at the supermarket and get through the check out… I was interested in all the seemingly easy parts in our culture that we don’t see and experience.. but how do things get there? what industrious methods bring that tea to us?. The minutiae – its about the detail and what we do not see. As much as it is about the effort”.
“ As an artwork it is no longer physically passive or static. One must engage to make it work and to understand the feeling I want to create and the sense of it”.
Urn is installed at a height of 5 meters, so that an extra effort must be made in order to fully utilise the benefits of the Urns service. Urn aims to provide excitement and stimulate adrenalin to those that make tea and interact with the work.
Most popular world teas are displayed and available. An extension ladder must be obtained and installed in order to reach the shelf upon which everything is provided for quick tea making. It is hoped that when Urn is installed in a busy space, an individual making tea may be driven to provide refreshment for others whilst visible upon the ladder. Urn is about affecting group dynamics, and highlighting more minute gestures of generosity, The little things that bind people together.
Urn is a work designed to function in daily life and within the art context. Urn therefore has a double currency, part of an ongoing series of works looking at multi-purpose art, it can be rented, borrowed, leased, exhibited and collected, and installed in numerous sites.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:
• URN CAN BE UTILISED BY OBTAINING AN EXTENSION LADDER