project image
© Sam Eckmeier 2015
PARACHUTE, (CIRCA 1988–2006)

first performed on August 16, 2015
The Queens Museum, Queens, NY
performed once in 2015


Emily Mock

Providence, RI / New York, NY

PARACHUTE, (CIRCA 1988–2006)

Commissioned by the Queens Museum, “Parachute, (circa. 1988–2006)” begins with my mother’s archive of newspaper clippings collected primarily from the Dallas Morning News which she presented to me when I left home. Compiled under the terms “Colombia” and “Adoption,” these stacks of paper represent moments of cross-temporal communication from a parent to her transnational-adoptee son.

Through a process of re-selection and reconfiguration within the archive, dormant for nearly a decade, I constructed, with fabrication support from Emily Mock, a 7.5 foot wide parachute—in response to Dayanita Singh’s “File Room” & Shilpa Gupta’s “1278 Unmarked 28 Hours by Foot via National Highway No 1, east of the Line of Control.” The performance begins with the remainder of the newspaper archive, not incorporated into the parachute, lying neatly on the floor of the Queens Museum’s Sunlight Gallery. I initiate the performance by turning on an industrial fan that blows the collection of newspaper fragments across the floor.

The parachute, activated through a performance of exhaustive running, explores the weight of inheritance in a contemplation of lift and drag. The public is invited to collect stray bits of the newspaper collection from the floor and reorganize them at an observation deck overlooking the Sunlight Gallery. Those present were also invited to turn the industrial fan on and off during the performance, blowing newspaper across the floor, and cooling my body as exhaustion set in.