The Sweep Project.
Scheduled to start May 2013.
Photos by Nathanael Dwight
Want to find out more?
A new website dedicated to The Sweep Project is now available. Follow this link: http://www.thesweepproject.com/
The Sweep Project is a series of site-specific performance artworks that highlight the history of the Underground Railroad in Will County, Illinois, and challenges people to consider both their relationship to that history and their role in building a more just and equitable society today.
All of the performances in The Sweep Project are simple and based upon a repetitive, meditative action (such as sweeping). Some of these performances are intended to be performed by me alone, others are done with the help of members of the community. All of the performances are ephemeral by nature: that is to say that there will be no long lasting “mark” on the ground where the Sweep Project has been. It is not the intention of The Sweep Project to create a monument to the Underground Railroad, rather it is the intention of the project to have people experience the history of the space for themselves and reflect on their own understanding of it: both past and present.
The following is a list of specific performances that are hope to make part of the Sweep Project. More may be added depending on community response and involvement.
· Quarrl Trail Sweeps.
A group of performances covering the distance from Lockport to Crete (32 miles), roughly following the route taken by freedom seeker Caroline Quarrls. This performance is a literal sweeping of the space while walking. Rural areas will be swept as individual performances. Community members will be invited to help sweep in townships along the way.
· Milk and Honey Trail.
Individual Performance. Marking of 5 miles of the Old Plank Road Trail with drops of milk and honey from New Lennox to Frankfort.
· Sugar Cube Trail.
A community performance with the help of local high school students. 1.2 mile trail of sugar cubes from the Lincolnway Central High School to the Old Brick Tavern marker.
· Consecrated Wafer Trail.
A 2.2 mile trail of consecrated wafers connecting two important UGRR stops with religious ties in Crete, Illinois.
· Willmington Hotel Cleaning.
A community performance. A thorough all night cleaning of this Underground Railroad location, with all of the collected dirt put into a large specimen jar and left on display in the window for one week
· 4 Mile Dash. A community performance. Using a walk-behind athletic field marker, to create a dashed line with athletic chalk (calcium carbonate, the primary ingredient of white wash) on the I&M Canal trail from Joilet to Lockport. (An additional trail may be created from Channahon to Joliet, making the entire distance 11 miles)