Following a global apocalypse, individuals from around the country gathered en masse for what appears to be an endless caravan, a procession without a clear purpose or destination–perhaps the sole reason for action in a hollow space that rejects any interpretation. Disdain for the notion that, within this huge, stifling order, someone–a person or a god–actually cares about what you have to say, was the basis for thought about the Slave Age project. This body of work began to crystallize at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in its early stages I could not imagine how relevant to the impending future it would be. The nowhere where the caravan marches coincides with new restrictions of movement that have made nomadism or wandering impossible. In literature, we are familiar with the genre of quest or travel novels, in which a protagonist–usually an exceptional individual, such as Buddha, Moses, Jesus, or Odysseus–leaves on a quest in the wake of a crisis, attracts followers, and achieves glory. However, the caravan in this instance has no leader; no hero or anti-hero heads it. There is no gospel, or enemy, not even an internal one. It is a caravan of masterless slaves. Slaves without a master do not seek power. Servitude is in their nature, they accept the human submissive burden without question, without despair. And so, every figure in the caravan faces the insipidness of their own life story. I was fascinated by the thought of a slave without a master, by the attempt to set apart those two fundamental states within every human culture. What happens to a slave when he is no longer enslaved, when there is no master to dictate the way forward? The slave’s existence fundamentally acknowledges the ruins of the past, present, and future, and expects nothing. A slave moves forward at a set pace of 60seconds per minute, accepting his calling while carrying the temporary earthly body assigned to him.
He is the final evolutionary metamorphosis, and yet just another vehicle of time.