Upright is fine, but downright is where I am

Permanent intervention, installed August 2019

The Institute for Endotic Research (TIER), Berlin

I am not granite and should not be taken for it. I am not flint or diamond or any of that great hard stuff. If I am stone, I am some kind of shoddy crumbly stuff like sandstone or serpentine, or maybe schist. Or not even stone but clay, or not even clay but mud. And I wish that those who take me for granite would once in a while treat me like mud.

Ursula K. Le Guin (“Being Taken for Granite” in A Wave in the Mind)

At The Institute for Endotic Research (TIER), Shannon Garden-Smith clothes a set of storage shelves in eccentric microplush polyester curtains. Exercising the capacity of the polyester material to retain marks wherever it is touched, she has imprinted a miscellany of shoes treads across the surface of the textiles to be joined by traces of touch made during the curtain’s everyday use. An accompanying artist’s book (with a text contribution from Parker Kay) muses on dozens of photographed tread prints, imprinted in sidewalk cement and road paint before the surfaces dried and hardened—like pseudo trace fossils, fossils that record biological activity (“burrows, boring, footprints, feeding marks” etc) rather than bodies themselves. During a public program on the evening of August 21, Garden-Smith will discuss the pedestrian sublimity of moving through the city searching for harried traces of touch. The talk will also consider the shape of production when moving through the city becomes a dominant site of thinking and making, as space increasingly and untenably belongs to real-estate capitalism.

Shannon gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Arts Council in supporting this project.