Having grown up spending one half of each week in a working class neighborhood and the other in a middle class neighborhood in a small Midwestern town, Hawk Swanson regularly observed gravedigging in the graveyard across the street from where she lived part of every week. While most of each grave was dug using a machine, a remainder was dug by hand. During 2010, the artist assigned herself the timed weekly task of digging of chest-deep holes inspired by her then involvement in the fitness methodology and online community, CrossFit. The series was also inspired by the extensive list of functional fitness tasks her grandfather—a janitor and groundskeeper—assigned her father after he turned eight years old.

Art Historian David Getsy has written on Dig.

“Queer Exercises: Amber Hawk Swanson’s Performances of Self-Realization.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies 19.4 (Oct. 2013): 465-485.︎ 
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