LOCK CODE: 3 - 2 - 1

In response to an interest in opening up or re-invigorating an investigation of endurance in performance and everyday life, this project will assign an endurative action to every word on We accept “enduring” to be an inherent fact of life, one full of possibility. Entries are written by hand on 3X5 index cards and filed alphabetically.

TDOEA will be housed in an ideal, custom, 24 drawer card catalogue attached to a standing desk. While that desk is being built (we started with the question, 'what tree should we grow'), the project will reside in a temporary loan box, on loan to a public location near you.


How are they written?

The system is this: one person goes to the desk, writes an ideal endurative action for a word left there previously, files it, and leaves a new word on the desk. This activity goes on until an ideal action has been assigned to every word listed in

A few examples, nearly infinite possibilities:

What is an Endurative Action?

The phrase ‘endurative action’ is open to interpretation.

Within the more specific context of art which uses performance, endurance has come to mean something different than the word endurance can mean more generally. We are interested in the endurance of everyday more than the endurance of an individual's will to create a single beautiful image, in spite of pain.

Our project engages the idea of endurance in art in a different way. This project's duration, or maybe it’s lack of a tangible conclusion, generates discomfort. No one is being heroic and overcoming all odds. The project only overcomes some odds by continuing, by persisting in spite of lacking a finish line.

To have endurance, or to be active with endurance implies struggle. There is both a real and a poetic beauty in struggle, especially struggle that involves unflagging persistence in the face of little hope for an absolutely relieving conclusion.

Enduring a not-concluding struggle is not an affliction that must be remedied. It is realistic, and it is an empowering position for an individual interested in engaging the world in terms of social justice and co-dependence. To engage the world every day with all of one’s hopes and desires, with all of one’s dreams, requires endurance. To engage in that struggle is to find possibility where it was not easy to look.




desk illustration


We are making a desk to house the dictionary. In order to make the ideal desk, we are consulting the internet to determine the ideal materials, design, etc.

When we began we quickly discovered this aspect of the project would take a long time, because we would need to grow the lumber we would harvest to make the desk. Which then raised the question of what tree species we should grow, which raised the question of which seeds - of the tree seeds we could gather - were the best seeds to germinate, which raised the question of how best to germinate a tree seed, etc.

We decided to have fun encountering each of these problems. Researching and thinking through these questions began to yield their reward: more things to learn, more things to investigate.

This is the temporary, "on loan" dictionary box... the project's home till its desk is done. Visit it!

temporary home



above: collected sugar maple seeds, stratifying


above: drawing 'How Entries Are Made', 2012

above are three "prototype" desks made from scavenged materials

Looking for Sugar Maple seeds in Central Park from cupola bobber on Vimeo.