We are many, and Emcee C.M. is just one of us. The work we do combines large-scale public, social and collaborative event-based projects with a more internal process of self-reflection through fiction, storytelling, and filmmaking. For example, a couple of us built a sauna by a lake in Maine and coordinated a series of events around it. Down in Connecticut, a bunch of us got together and activated a public space with a set of homemade musical instruments, a miniature library, a small garden, a wall for writing, and a shed for displaying small personal objects. Another time, we got about 100 people together and built a wooden boat in three weeks, using it for several public actions relating to local waterways. We built and managed a bunch of different small guerilla libraries on street level in New York, coming up with various strategies for surreptitiously claiming little pieces of public space as an information commons. Some of us raised goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, bees, vegetables, and produced our own cheese, butter, kefir, yogurt, cream, lard, fatback, meat, pesto, tomato sauce, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, hot sauce, horseradish, kombucha, bread, honey and maple syrup. We built a chicken coop, a milking stand, fenced in a few fields, and made a sugarshack / greenhouse / sweatlodge out of bamboo and old plastic and by golly we had a good time doing it.

The work we do concerns all of us, we, people. We are alive, working and playing. We have our personal and our general struggles. We are trying to understand the anxieties that freeze us in place, and celebrate our power to overcome them. If our work is how we define ourselves, then our life is work, our work is life, and it is our life’s work. Work describes what all of us do with our time when we are actively engaged in living. To do work is the basic activity of being alive. This is the starting point: whatever else gets incorporated into a specific project, our work is always about work.

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