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Artists put new spin on life in a hamster wheel

Friday, March 07, 2014 - 01:19

March 7 - Two artists are living in a giant hamster wheel in Brooklyn, New York, exploring what they call ''Social Relationship Architecture.'' Jillian Kitchener reports.

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They've escaped New York's rat race. And in doing so, they've turned to the hamster wheel. Two Brooklyn artists are living in a 25-foot-tall wheel for over a week. Alex Schweder explains: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALEX SCHWEDER, CO-CREATOR AND PERFORMER OF "IN ORBIT", SAYING: "We have an apartment here that's about 500 square feet - it's a 2-bedroom apartment and one of the bedrooms is on the outside of a wheel while the other bedroom is on the inside of a wheel. And like most Brooklyn apartments we share the kitchen and bath." The kitchen and bathroom are on a swinging axle so they're never turned on their side or upside down. Ward Shelley wears a harness in bed to prevent him from falling. It's a challenge, but both men say they're getting about nine hours of sleep a night. The piece, called "In Orbit," explores how buildings affect relationships within them. And visitors are in awe: (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMELIA BLACKWELL, VISITOR, SAYING: "I guess I'm such an independent person I don't know if I would be able to handle this and for the duration that they're doing it for too. Yeah, it's incredible." It gives a new meaning to cleanliness. The artists can't leave their belonging lying around, or gravity will take hold of them. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALEX SCHWEDER, CO-CREATOR AND PERFORMER OF "IN ORBIT", SAYING: "And it's not just the kind of discipline of cleanliness, it really has to do with the way that we occupy our environments with little kind of welcomings, right? That cup of coffee, that cup of tea, that magazine and those little welcomings aren't here for me, I have to constantly be packing up those evidences of occupation." The evidence is for everyone to see, in a Brooklyn art space until Sunday.

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Artists put new spin on life in a hamster wheel

Friday, March 07, 2014 - 01:19

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