‘N scale’ is an art and activism project initiated by Brigid McLeer that commemorates the tragic and needless death of one hundred and eighty-eight factory workers in the factories of Kader Industrial, makers of toys and model rail accessories, in Thailand on May 10th 1993.
The victims of this particular tragedy are remembered through a memorial ‘sculpture’, a series of ritual commemorative performances and the formation of an art-activist community, the N scale inoperative association. In doing so the project intends to surface broader and ongoing questions about the systems and politics that underlie the recurrence of such horrific events and our own complicity in or responsibility to them.
It is also a project that tests the capacity of art to produce sustained and meaningful responses to the inequities of globalisation and the socio-economic, ethical and political questions posed by it.
In addition to commemorating the victims of this fire, ‘N scale’ explores how we form ‘community’ in the context of contemporary global capitalism. It proposes that useful communities are ones that are live, dynamic and ethically responsive at the level of the individual. Useful communities include those who are remote and disenfranchised from power and assist in their reappearance. Useful communities resist commodification and closure in the form of a single named unity, and instead remain open to continual change and becoming. They are “the coming community”.