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Human Hamster Wheel ‘In Orbit’

Curators’ Corner

Human Hamster Wheel ‘In Orbit’

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Trust. Collaboration. Teamwork. Cooperation. Performance artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley will know the meaning of these words all too well after performing In Orbit at The Boiler art space located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Their performance art piece is an interactive one—a 25-foot hamster wheel residence that is installed with a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom for each artist.

Two zones have been set up in alignment, requiring both artists to perform the same activity at the same time for a total of ten consecutive days. Balanced on opposite edges of the wheel with Schweder on the inside and Shelley on the outside, each movement must be carefully synchronized in opposite directions. Yes, this means cooking meals at the same time, sleeping at the same time, and even using the bathroom in tandem­ all to convey the message that “we all have to work together to get through the daily grind.”

The duo will vacate the wheel on March 9 and return to their usual residences while the structure remains on view at The Boiler until April 5.