Walking in search of the metre | Sara Morawetz

Sara Morawetz

TEDxSydney 2019 · 24 May 2019

What is a metre –– is it approximately an arm’s length? An average stride? Or is it something more –– something scientific? Artist Sara Morawetz embarked on a journey to find out –– walking for 112 days along the length of the Paris meridian –– retracing the historical journey that defined the metre as a fraction of the planet’s size. Equipped with a laser rangefinder, a GPS receiver and a collapsible target, Morawetz and her team set off on a 2,100km survey throughout France and Spain. Recounting her experiences of space, place and distance-measured, Morawetz discusses the physical and emotional task of creating one’s own metre.

ÉTALON ‘metre’ length: 100.02 cm

ÉTALON COMPANIONS: Darren Engwirda, Boni Cairncross, Alexandra Pedley, Kath Fries, Laura Hindmarsh, Lucy Parakhina, Magali Duzant, Connie Anthes, Chantal Meng, Sharne Wolff, Stephanie Brotchie and Angela Lopes As an artist // investigator // method-maker Sara Morawetz explores the processes of scientific action, examining how concepts of observation, experimentation, method and standardisation have come to shape science and everyday life. Informed by the exhaustive, the obsessive, the poetic and the absurd, her work is often conducted as a ‘scientific experiment’, employing durational, repetitious and participatory components.

Sara is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney and her work has been exhibited throughout Australia and internationally. Recent projects have incorporated diverse collaborations between the arts and sciences, including partnerships with scientists from MIT, NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She was 2016 winner of ‘the churchie’ National Emerging Art Prize and a finalist of the 2017 Aesthetica Art Prize. Her 2018 work étalon is supported by the Vida Lahey Memorial Travelling Scholarship (QAGOMA Foundation), the Museé des Arts et Métiers and the Australia Council for the Arts. |

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