Fieldwork is a research project into the history of labor embedded within the wastescapes of the 20th century. Inspired by scientific field research and the choreographic forms that arise from interaction between natural geography and research instruments, Fieldwork performs the history of capital on site at Freshkills landfill park, one of the largest monuments to consumerism from the 20th century. The work represents the choreography of commodified work: from the Enclosure Act that privatized land for agriculture, to the industrial revolution and the evolution of Fordist assembly lines segmenting labor into discreet tasks, and finally the advent of global logistics and the large-scale distribution and movement of goods.


The choreography was informed by shadowing scientist-researchers, capturing and studying their movements on video. Film, video and photography of the other forms of labor represented (agricultural, industrial and distributional) were also collected and studied through the making of drawings (above) and videos.

The full performance is captured on 360 video to emphasize the contrast in scale of the body in relationship to the wastescape of Freshkills Park, whose vast acreage is nearly incomprehensible. Viewed through VR headset, the piece serves as much a gateway to the space of Freshkills as it is a place-based embodiment of the marginalized labor that lies within. Corollary photographic images of the work focus on discreet choreographic forms.



Funded through Freshkills Park programs and Freshkills R/D
Choreographic Support: Morgan Refakis;
Rehearsal Master: Morgan Refakis
Performers: Anna Pinault, Calleja Smiley, Leanne Goia, Melissa House, Morgan Refakis
360 Videography: Haoyan of America