project image
Calen Barca-Hall

first performed on July 13, 2013
Concord, Los Angeles, CA
performed 13 times in 2013


Oakland, CA


“Big Shit!” is one in a series of pieces that use language to construct improbable or impossible objects, spaces and situations. I started the series several years ago, when I started to become more interested in describing things that I couldn’t make than in fabricating things that I could. This kind of work is motivated, in part, by an interest in how we use language (and other ideational systems) to negotiate with our surroundings.

Sometimes, “Big Shit!” is a performance. When it is, I read it out loud. Sometimes, it’s a sound installation too. When it’s a sound installation, I have a computer voice read it.

The script is the most important part. Here’s an excerpt:

“…A hallway, about ten feet wide by ten feet high, long enough that a person standing at one end wouldn’t be able to see the opening at the other end, due to the interference of the horizon. On earth this would be about three and a half miles.

A tunnel, roughly the size of a door, curving in a long circle with a diameter of about a mile, lined with mirrors and well lit on the inside so someone could stand at one end of the tunnel and see their backside reflected in the mirrors.

A grid of metal bars, ten miles long by two miles wide by half a mile tall installed in a flat area underwater with large enough openings for a small submersible to navigate…”