is an elaborate, overlapping series of structures: work, family, sports, government,
religion, etc. Each of these provides and limits the space in which we conduct
the frequently banal business of living. They are taken so much for granted
that they seem to us inherent and immutible. What happens when you examine
them? By stripping away what we take for granted, are we able to examine the
underlying impulses that drive these constructs? Can we re-construct them
in a different way?
this semi-extreme performance, 6 curious artists strip away not only most
of modern life's familiar structures, but an entire dimension: they have elected
to inhabit a structure that effectively forces them to live in 2 dimensions.
structure is 4 stories high, 24 feet wide, and 24 inches deep, covered in
transparent plastic (vinyl). It resembles a terrarium or "ant farm"
and is inspired by the 19th century science fiction novel it is named after,
"Flatland".* *(note: Flatland is a very short novel and you can
read the whole thing on-line at http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/
structure is outfitted by the participants to accommodate their individual
notions: thus the transparent 2-dimensionality of the structure becomes a
map of their needs and activities. Also, the 2 dimensional shape of their
environment forces their activities to adapt in special ways; for instance,
in order to pass one another, they must go above or below; there is no room
to go "around".
participants will be profiled and have personal web pages to post reports
and receive communications. Each is a working artist or writer and will attempt
to develop projects during the piece. Inhabited by six creative and strong-willed
people, the space limitations will require participants to balance their individual
needs with those of the others and the group.
project will be monitored by an array of video cameras, displaying interesting
close-up views of the interior and macro views of the unfolding patterns of
the "flat screen" the entire structure forms. There should be a
The rules are simple: stay in the box. When participants leave the box, they
can not re-enter. There is no pressure to stay for a long time; when a participant
has had enough, they just leave. The project is completed in 20 days or when
everyone has left, whichever comes first.
piece has references to the Biosphere project, to reality TV such as Big Brother,
and to costumed adventure movies in the tradition of "Mission to Mars",
and super hero comic books. There is a direct ancestry to installation projects
such as "Mir2", "the Tunnel", and "We Have Mice".