Grow or Die 2, 2011
Ward Shelley and
Douglas Paulson

Commissioned by the Decordova Museum for the exhibition "Temporary Structures"

This is a sculptural installation that grows as the result of a performance. The performance is like a game with an objective and rules. In this piece, the artists must continually build the structure in order to reach the next food supply and they can't come down.

At the beginning of the performance, a “Base Station” was installed near the front door of the museum, attached overhead to the staircase wall. The Base was a campsite in which theyl lived. It had places for bedding down, a chemical toilet, and a supply of materials and tools. Eight more caches with supplies of food and building materials were attached to the ceiling in other locations in the museum, forming points along a route. Tthe artists moved up into the Base Station and began building a climbing structure in the direction of the next day's cache.

The object of the performance is for the artist to extend the construction through the museum, branching towards each days cache of food and materials before supplies run out. Re-supplied, they continue, extending to another cache.

The construction was suspended from the ceiling and grew like a root or branch from room to room, traveling throughout the museum. Tthe artists worked and lived on the construction, entirely suspended off the ground, using safety harnesses, no ladders. The piece required 8 days.