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Team Members

Frankie Zhang/ George Middleton/ Hao Li/ James Zhang

Richard Serra’s verblist

© 2018 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Pencil on two sheets of paper Dimensions, 10 x 8 1/2" (25.4 x 21.6 cm) (each)

Serra famously said, "Drawing is a verb." In Verblist, he compiled a series of what he called "actions to relate to oneself, material, place, and process." Serra has talked at length about the central place this language-based drawing occupies in the development of his early sculptural practice. This work on paper suggests a common ground underlying Serra's practices in all mediums—from early sculptures to later monumental works, which not only twist and curve but also enclose, surround, and encircle. It shows Serra's debt to action painting and his proximity to Conceptual and performance practices; the list was published in the journal Avalanche in 1971 and testifies to the artist’s close relationship to dancers like Yvonne Rainer and Simone Forti, with whom he shared not only a milieu but a commitment to carrying out verbs.

MoMA label from From the Collection: 1960-69, March 26, 2016 - March 12, 2017.

Experiment with Materials

In this activity, our team received a Sky On Demand Connector and there were some verbs came out meanwhile. (The sketch of the plan has attached at the second page)

1. To hang

2. To split

3. To drop


After the discussion of the verbs, we started to use the screwdriver and hammer to knock down the cover for taking out the circuit boards in it.

2. Take an overview

Then we tried to use the hot air fan to detach the boards from the box. However, it did not works and we found that there were some joints can be pulled out by the hammer.

3. Anatomy

To fit the verbs that we decided before, we pulled up the plug for re-design it later and to convert it into something can hang up the box.

4. To Split

Afterwards, for taking the parts out, we used the hot air fan co-operating with the scissors to cut off each part because the heat could soften the metal wires and made it easier for cut. Moreover, we discovered that some parts could be melted down.


5. To dissolve

By the inspiration of the previous step, we found that the temperature could change the texture of the box cover into a rough kind. It was seemed like to destruction of existing recognition. The word "sky" and the very fine cover had been ruined, and they were all became as the history leaving a print over there.

6. Reconstruction

Mainly in three parts: the plug, the parts and the boards.

For the plug, George tried to take off the rubber sleeves from the wire and disperse the copper wire and stick them on the box.

For the boards, James used the straw and glue to connect some of the parts and the boards to make it as a three-dimensional dissection.

For the parts, I came out an idea that using the wood stripes and branches to attach with the parts. That would make it looks like a root that contained a lot of electronic materials. Hao skillfully finished this part with the glue gun.


To split

To dissolve

To hang

Of nature

Self Evaluation

The "ACDC" is the acronym of Alternating Current To Direct Current, because the TV box could be regarded as the hinge of communication that transporting the input and output of information in the electronic society. ACDC is a metaphor of the connection among people in the digital media. Firstly, branches attaching with the parts symbolizing a brand-new nature system which is built on the internet. As a root, each part of it is firmly connected. Secondly, the ruined box cover representing the contemporary status of people. Everyone could be anonymous because of the internet. Therefore, the authenticity and authority are somewhat erased. Thirdly, the plug is the fountainhead of the power as well as the symbol of something that generally hanging over the overall new-nature. Last but not least, "to split" mainly describes the action in the process. I think we had a perfect collaboration and discussed a lot about our opinions. Basically, I am satisfied with the final outcome. Nevertheless, if there is a another chance, I hope that we can have more time to perfect the details. For instance, using some more suitable materials (e.g. something can replace the straw) and apply some colours to unify the work in visual way.




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