For Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley, the term “artist in residence” is often a very literal one: Collaborators since 2007, the pair practice what Schweder describes as “performance architecture,” or the exploration of how inhabiting a space affects us, psychologically. So they build interesting structures, and then move in.
Their most recent project, Reactor, sits upon a concrete pillar at Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, N.Y., where it spins and tilts with the wind, and the roving weight of its inhabitants. Last week, Schweder and Shelley lived in the 40-by-8-foot Modernist structure for five days as visitors looked on. Between the perpetual spinning and coordinating their own movements to ensure a level living space, the residency was an ongoing exercise in establishing a routine, finding autonomy in the (literal) balancing act of sharing a space and redefining everyday comforts.
The house will be on display for two years; and this September and October, Schweder and Shelley will inhabit Reactor for another several days. Below are exclusive excerpts from their diaries of their inaugural run.
Read on T Magazine.com.