8 The Burden of Communication

Clocking the invisible weight of our messages

In an age where emails and text messages are exchanged 24/7, with people communicating around the clock and through the night like labourers tending to the ‘graveyard’ shift, this performative endurance project reveals a repressed secret: this supposed digital efficiency is also a heavy burden.

Inspired by the baroque rituals of Catholicism and by the Japanese festival tradition of Matsuri, where a city’s inhabitants push the limits of their bodies by towing heavy floats through narrow streets, a small group from University of Waterloo’s Critical Media Lab will attempt to turn digital communications into embodied labour by circling the Victoria Park clock tower towing wagons filled with bricks. Tweet a dose of your own personal burden to @digitalsins1 and/or @digitalsins2 and it will be transubstantiated into a brick and added to the ever-growing pile being towed. Confess your digital sins!


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