Action Items

Action items, in management lingo, are specific tasks assigned to individuals at the end of a meeting. These actions are intended to advance the cause of the group, whatever that may be, and each person is expected to report back about the end result. One video in this issue of the Cultural Engineering project, Tim Smith’s “Scale,” astonishingly illustrates the manner in which large undertakings are actually the end result of many people accomplishing numerous particular tasks. One uninterrupted take zooms out from a single construction worker and shows his place in the larger construction site and its orchestrated activities. As passersby, we tend to focus only on the outsized items, such as construction cranes, and lose sight of the specific part that individuals play. From a variety of perspectives, the artists in this issue reveal the singular actions that in varying degrees constitute the warp and weft of the city.

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