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See the dedicated project web site here: www.tdoea.com

The Field, The Mantel: Dictionary of Endurative Actions (ongoing)

The Dictionary of Endurative Actions (TDOEA) is an on-going writing and collection installation that was started in October 2009. In response to our shared interest in opening up or re-invigorating an investigation of endurance in performance and everyday life, we endeavor to assign an endurative action to every word on dictionary.com. TDOEA will be housed in a custom 24 drawer card catalogue attached to a standing desk, where entries will be written by hand on 3 inch by 5 inch cards and filed alphabetically.

We accept “enduring” to be an inherent fact of life, one full of possibility. The tasks associated with this project have been conceived to investigate all aspects of endurance with the hopes of revealing its spectrum (times, materiality, physicality, struggle, tragedy, joy…) and given the unrelenting nature of endurance, the dictionary will never be complete and the task of writing it will outlast us – a fact which pays homage to the absurd beauty associated with any endurative action or any entity pursing joy.

Writing & Collecting:

The system is this: one person goes to the desk, writes an ideal endurative action for a word left there previously, files it, and leaves a new word on the desk. This activity goes on until an ideal action has been assigned to every word listed in dictionary.com.

The desk:

Inspired by the Flaubert characters Bouvard and Pecuchet, and to start the accumulative action of the dictionary, we began by searching the internet for the ideal desk/catalogue design, which we intend to copy. Copying it will necessitate internet searches for many more ideals: ideal wood species, tree felling process, tree milling, wood drying, the ideal way to…

At the moment, we are preparing to acquire the wood to make the desk. A process which we have decided will include the felling of a tree with a two man saw, the digging of a ditch for the process of milling the wood, and racking / air drying the lumber in our studio for as long as it takes (depending on wood type, time of year, moisture content, and board thickness dry time could take anywhere from one to three years).

Once we have the raw materials to start the construction, we have decided to make a copy of “The Davinci Desk.” Described by standupdesks.com as, “…a combination of our two most popular style desks. The Virginia Woolf and the Winston Churchill come together to create even more functionality and style.”

The installation:

The Dictionary of Endurative Actions is a resource open to the public. The public may use it as a reference, and also participate in the process of generating entries. Appointments to visit it in our studio can be made through our website, www.cupolabobber.com. From time to time, we hope to be able to loan it to institutions or individuals capable of maintaining regular visiting hours.

Currently, the writing of the dictionary is 0.000287345% complete and the copy of the “Davinci Desk” has yet to be built, but given the nature of this life long project, it is desirable to make it available to the public no matter what state it is in. For instance, if an institution were to open its doors and provide a space for the collection while the wood for the desk was still being dried, the installation would include a stack of the drying lumber, a prototype desk for the browsing and writing of entries, and a display of research paths made during our “ideal” searches.

Current Statistics

Finished Entries:52(as of 08/27/10)
Approximate Number of Entries When Complete: 180,967+ | Percentage Complete: 0.000287345%
Start Date: 12/11/09


Sample Card:

sample card