Excerpted from Actual Size (2013), an artist’s project by Kandis Friesen printed in FUSE issue 36-2.
Architectural and engineering plans articulate the form and function of intended constructions — the flow of substances, entry and exit points, joints, connections and foundations — and reveal the dispersion of power that sustains these structures. The flow of capital surrounding Israel’s occupation has been monitored and tracked through the work of activists in Palestine, Israel and around the world. Actual Size diagrams these grassroots efforts to follow the trails of profit and document the industry of occupation, while also visualizing the materials (and materiality) of the tools of surveillance, occupation and control. From the high-tech biometrics of the Basel Project, which tracks Palestinian movement into and out of Israel, to the razing of over 100,000 trees on Palestinian land, to a towering concrete wall complex spanning seven hundred kilometres, it can be difficult to under-stand the sheer mass and intricate violence of such endeavours. It becomes a bit clearer when the lines of connection are drawn, between car manufacturing and armoured military vehicles, creative video software and surveillance tracking systems, aircraft production and armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles — the actual size just keeps on growing.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1978, Kandis Friesen is a Montreal-based artist working in video, sound, performance, drawing and installation. Her interests lie in contexts of labour and production, sites of national and cultural identity, and the role of documents and archives in constructions of collective memory. Her work has been shown at galleries and festivals across Canada and internationally, and among many projects, she is currently working on the Mennonite Video Archive Project, a collaborative collection of work activating the archive as public space.