RECORD / MZ SITEWIDE / Video and Film Clips / VC13
Laerke Recht & Rick Hauser, 2014-
Updated July 2014

Film clip 13
J2 Dirt Removal

Date ?
Creator Rick Hauser
Format .MP4
File size 21.1 MB
Duration 3.37 minutes


Dirt Removal
Positioning the Conveyor Belt
Feeding the Machine

For those who are enamored of archaeology - the romance of digging in some remote clime - a first awakening comes quickly. The work is mind-numbingly repetitive and slow. Sometimes only one activity is pursued doggedly for hours.

That is not to count the result- that in time, ancient buildings emerge from the soil, artifacts of every imaginable sort are retrieved.

Then begins the long and tedious work of analysis in the laboratory.

Never has "a step at a time" had more crucial urgency, for if some aspect of the process is skipped over - "dropped" - damage may be done, the very meaning of place-ment in space and relationship in time and actual physical presence may be altered, falsified.

This is the chaîne opératoire - Leroi-Gourhan's "production sequence" in practice.

In this 3:00 film, we see one such process, the placement and operation of an elaborate conveyor belt built especially for the excavation. Its utility is immediately apparent, even if installation is tedious - the pit is so very deep that it would be an onerous task to haul dirt hand-over-hand in zambils (rubber baskets) up the wall, workmen dangling precariously from a ladder, passing the dirt to fellows above.

The work is very like the First Creation- space must be cleared for a new reality.

Also, it has by now become apparent that much else is going on in every frame of the film. Notice, for example, the workman in the foreground of the shot where other workmen struggle to slip the heavy conveyor belt/chute over the edge of the excavation area into the pit below.

What is he doing?

The making and deployment of a plumb-bob is as intricate a process, just as detailed, as what is going on all around him. In this case, the workman is attempting to ascertain alignment, either for the placement of another conveyor belt or perhaps to determine the vertical surface of the wall itself.

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