Backup is an ongoing project that addresses the arduousness of various domestic activities many of us face every day in America. The project was inspired a few years ago after facing a pile of dishes in the sink upon returning home from a long day at work. As I was wringing out the sponge with fatigued hands I thought to myself I could really use some backup. I envisioned three ladies singing to me while I did the chores, as I shopped for groceries, as I sat in traffic. They would act as subliminal cheerleaders rooting me on in every mundane task I’d have to encounter. A couple of months later, the fantasy was brought to life. I hired three anonymous craigslist backup singers/strangers who accompanied me to the grocery store. Each of them received fifty dollars and a list of groceries they sang aloud to me as I meandered through the aisles.
A year later I found three more backup singers to back me up while I did a single load of laundry at the laundromat. On the day of the performance, one of my trusty backups singers called in sick, so I had to take on the role of backup singer number three. As strangers and friends washed and dried their clothes, we sung and sweat and spun on laundry carts for an entire 46 minutes.
Eventually, three more backup singers accompanied me through rush hour traffic. The night was dark and drizzly and the traffic slow moving - perfectly miserable and mundane conditions for soulful backup.
One year later and nine months pregnant, I hired three more singers to sing to me while doing domestic chores around the house.
The next rendition of Backup will focus around the bedtime routine I am responsible for every night when putting my young daughter to sleep. Though there are parts of this process I adore, it can be a grueling experience that demands backup.