16mm, b/w, silent, 8:00, 2001
Working from Walter Benjamin's maxim on the usefulness of copying texts as opposed to reading them, which he relates to walking through a field as opposed to flying over it, Perseverance closely examines cultural detritus by copying, animating, and observing it. Perseverance links the U.S.'s 21st century purchasing power and its promises of happiness with the maxims of early 20th century self-improvement.
The 16mm black-and-white animations are generated by writing the texts letter by letter in a laborious and flawed calligraphy. The title comes from Perseverance and How to Develop It, a 1915 self-help book which instructed young men how to discipline themselves to achieve a better life.