B’wick performance artists to live in giant hamster wheel for 10 days

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This sounds like a wheel-y uncomfortable living situation.

Starting Feb. 28, a pair of Bushwick performance artists will eat, drink, sleep, and pee in a massive hamster wheel-like installation piece — one on the inside, the other around the outside — for 10 successive days.

The live performance piece, taking place at Pierogi gallery’s the Boiler exhibition space in Williamsburg through March 9, is intended to demonstrate the natural give and take of human relationships, explained one of the artists.

“It’s about this kind-of interdependent and cooperation of two people to make a fairly extreme environment livable,” said Ward Shelley.

Complete with fixed bathrooms, mini-fridges, chairs, and beds, the 25-foot wheel exhibition, called “In Orbit,” requires careful maneuvering by Shelley and his partner, Alex Schweder, who has a degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill.

In order to get to what they need, Schweder and Shelley must coordinate their movements to rotate the wheel. If one artist bends sideways, he could send his fellow performer’s food flying — or worse.

The artists are no strangers to works of “performance architectu­re,” as they call it. In 2009, they created “Stability,” a 25-foot house balanced on a seesaw-like wooden structure. Two years later, they followed up with “Counterfeit Roommate,” a vertical habitat also requiring movement coordination between Shelley and Schweder,

Living in their handmade pieces can be mentally taxing, but the months of construction and planning that precede each performance make it all worth it, said Shelley,

“It takes us months and months of trying just to get people to give us permission to do this, so when we finally get the chance to be there, it’s like, ‘Yeah, here I am, I finally made it,’” Shelley said. “There’s not that psychological sense of being held against my will.”

“In Orbit” at the Boiler [191 N. 14th Street between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 599–2144,]. Feb. 28–March 9 from noon–6 pm.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from Runined Brokklyn says:
Here is a direct quote " like, ‘Yeah" Hipster love to say "Like Yeah". Another one: "here I am, I finally made it" Really???? This is making it???? Or "“It takes us months and months of trying just to get people to give us permission to do this" you didn't need anyones permission to do this in private, nobodies at all. What you needed was permission to do this in public, permission to make a public spectacle of yourself in magical, quirky Bushpointburg. LOOK AT MEEEE!!! I'M WALKING ON A GIANT HAMSTER WHEEL!!!! EVERYBODY PLEASE PUUUUUULLLLLEEESE LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEE! OH MOMMY PLEASE LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEE! I'M MAKING ART ART ART ART ART! yup, normal Brooklyn here
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:17 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Kidults wanna play games, let em...
just don't call it art please
Feb. 27, 2014, 9:31 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Sounds like something Spike Lee might like!
Feb. 27, 2014, 9:48 am
diehipster from Hanging Harrisons says:
I'd love to see the resident smug yups on this message board defend this sh*t. Hahahahahahahhaahaha

And now you see why us normal Brooklynites feel an invasion of pod people is among us. Sickening.

See yous all at Molly and Zane's artisanal taco and locally crafted ale stand at the flea this weekend!

Hi Ho Real Brooklyn, awayyyyyyyyyyyy!
Feb. 27, 2014, 10:16 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon the interruption, but this seems to be a little bit silly. Plus, how will they go to the bathroom?
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:48 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
This is really whimsical, quirky, and creative. The 80s had Basquiat, a real Brooklyn native with real creativity and real talent. Now we have talentless Brooklyn BASED transplants burning through parental savings in order to do the important work of pretending to be hamsters. Quite the progress!

Like yahhh, Brooklyn deeeeed!!
Feb. 27, 2014, 12:15 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Thank you for the clarification on this important matter. John Wasserman
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:29 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
This is exactly what Spike meant by people moving in & trying to take over. Who the f**k wants to see a grown man in a damn hamster wheel? Not any real bk'er does. Lets band together & run these fools outta bk & the rest of nyc because im sick of this sh*t. People like this have nothing to do with their time, meanwhile the average ny'er is bustin' his/her a$$ just trying to survive out here. Something has gotta give & soon.
Feb. 27, 2014, 2:56 pm
ty from pps says:
I would suggest everyone commenting to *not* go see this. Doesn't sound like your sort of thing. I have no interest in going to see it either. Take a deep breath and do what you want to do.

See. Problem solved.

Oh, right. I forgot. It's deeply traumatizing for you weak, emotional types to even be slightly aware that such things exist. Oh, you poor tortured "real" people. How do you get through life being so delicate?
Feb. 27, 2014, 5 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Now, now, Ty, however are we going to keep the mooks on the run by saying something reasonable like that? Of course everyone in Brooklyn must run out and see the two men on the hamster wheel or they're horrible racist Philistines. They also smell bad and live in their mothers' basements.
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:14 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
"How do you get through life being so delicate? "

Well, TY (and this is John Wasserman by the way), my general rule of thumb is to start the day with a laugh and a nice breakfast. I've been making eggs and cheese on an English muffin (they are so much better when you make them yourself. Then I head into work, and read the BP. Then I come home and enjoy a glass of red wine and Cracker Barrel Cheddar cheese and relax for a while. Then I do something else. I eventually end up laughing myself to sleep. Then I repeat this the next day.
Pardon the interruption.
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:24 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Ty, you could not resist giving your 2 cents even on this? All the other Ethans; and Harrisons knew this was stupid even by hipster standards but 2 cents Ty needs to chime in. thanks for rolling out of bed at 5pm. Guess it's time for your evening barista shift
Feb. 27, 2014, 8:07 pm
Andrew O says:
ZANY! KOOKY! WEIRD! LOOK at meeeeee!!!!!!!
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:37 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
My god can we please run these bozos outta my old hood of bushwick? I used to stay on jefferson & knickerbocker, its like the whole area of bushwick/w'burg is pretty much a damn circus now. Im tired of this sh*t!!
Feb. 27, 2014, 11:50 pm
OGPAttyO from Queens says:
...this grant funded foolishness must end! Send these idiots back to whatever cornfield that spawned them.
Feb. 28, 2014, 9:46 am
ty from pps says:
"Ty, you could not resist giving your 2 cents even on this?" -- SwampYankee at 8:07pm

Hmm... I guess you didn't have the ability to "resist giving your 2 cents" at 5:17am either? Ya know, with your tired old whining?

As I said, I know it's deeply traumatizing for you weak, emotional types to even be slightly aware that such things exist. Oh, you poor tortured "real" people. How do you get through life being so delicate?
Feb. 28, 2014, 10:10 am
Larry from Kill All Hipsters says:
Ever notice how all these "artists" come up with these high-concept ideas, but they never seem to make any real art, you know, like pottery, sculptures, paintings and drawings, particularly the kind that demonstrate some measure of real, actual talent?

The only talent these people seem to have is making more and more if this city unaffordable for anyone of normal means.
Feb. 28, 2014, 11:45 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
This is not the first time the Pierogi gallery has dropped fifty grand on a thing like this in their project space in Greenpoint.

The Chooch knows from the inside that this is a very profitable gallery. They've got the funny money to do things like this, and actually it comes from selling things "like pottery, sculptures, paintings and drawings."

So why don't they spend the money building shacks for semi-employed mooks who are getting the heave-ho from the neighborhood. This is a very good question, worthy of discussion.
Feb. 28, 2014, 1:03 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
If you don't mind my saying so, I encountered "a snobby" just the other day. But I believe it's unlawful to punch them and take there belongings.
Feb. 28, 2014, 4:08 pm
Actually "Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Wow real cute for somebody to pull the power move of copying my name and location and posting as me. That's a little graphic for my taste. As you may know, my shtick is more to just call out these moronic "real Brooklyn" people out for being the idiots they are...
Feb. 28, 2014, 4:53 pm
Gerbiltime says:
Tyinterlopernypdmikechooch done done all that stretching his ownself. Tighty whitey all the way. It's still the best.
Feb. 28, 2014, 5:14 pm
Pablo Peequeso says:
This is that tired and boring gallery that hosted the show called House Party where "artist" Andrew Ohanesian built a suburban house inside the gallery, and invited people to come and trash it. Snore. He was also the idiot to get caught up in a big coke sting last year. How tiresome. Glad to see the Pierogi Boiler churning out the cliches we are all so fond of. The archives of this period in art in Williamsburg will be scant and unencumbered by subtext or complexity. Fitting.
Feb. 28, 2014, 5:32 pm
UpstateIslanderFan from Capital District says:
I lived in Bushwick for a year (admittedly a former interloper BC student) 2001-02 and I can tell you, the whole Brooklyn artist thing was tiresome then, so I can't imagine how much more tiresome it must be now. Everything was someone's "look at me" moment back then and it sounds like it's gotten worse with the beardos and artisanal crowd growing with every article written about Brooklyn and every resturant app released. Life for the next few years in Bay Ridge was much more pleasant in part because the natives didn't seem warm to people trying to change their neighborhood to make it cooler. You didn't see dudes riding banana bikes down Fourth Avenue or dressing in ironic trucker hats because someone probably would nicely call them a beta-male for doing so. From the perspective of a former interloper, I would encourage people in neighborhoods to watch the creeping insidiousness that is art bars, beer gardens, galleries, expensive coffee places with wireless. There's a reason why Bushwick's real residents hated outsiders back then, and I can't say I don't understand why.
Feb. 28, 2014, 6:04 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
The Chooch agrees that these airbag installation shows are tired, the idea had been done, and it's not the interesting direction of art in Brooklyn these days. Most art sucks, always has and always will. That's just a fact of life.

However, what is extraordinary is that Pierogi can afford these indulgences. It is an irrefutable testament to the strength of the Brooklyn art market. They make the money by selling "real" paintings, many of which obviously do not suck.
Feb. 28, 2014, 6:46 pm
gasket from crown heights born & raised says:
these guys who are always commenting on here are pretty weakminded - pretending that being dumb and unreasonable is "anti-gentrification." fact of the matter is artists (some local some transplants) have been pulling stunts in ny since the 1890s -not all of them are jackson pollocks or basquaits. theres always gonna be artists pulling stunts. stop attacking symptoms and start talking about the real problems. the profiteers of gentrification and not art of questionable worth. pull it together and be smarter. go talk to a zoning board if youre mad and not some comments section. youre embarrassing us.
Feb. 28, 2014, 7:41 pm
Kris Kemp from Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY says:
To Megan Riesz (writer of this article):

The next time you write an article like this, can you do a full-length interview and have the article run longer.

I'm curious, and I'm sure others are, too, about how these artists subsidize their art. Do they write and get grants? Do they fund it themselves? Through fund-raising like Kickstarter? I'm more interested in how these artists fund their projects, as that's valuable information to the creative types that read your articles.

I like living in Bushwick because it's cheap, but the rents are rising fast and this is due to online magazines and offline magazines hyping the area by writing about artists. It's frustrating because I don't want Bushwick to be come Williamsburg with its snobby beardos who all dress the same and arrogant rocker chicks who all dress the same.

The reason why you're reading so many negative comments about this article is that we, the people who live here, who like to lead quiet and creative lives, are fed up with this —— and hype being perpetuated by these look-at-me hipster and their fawning cheerleaders like yourself and other media. It's annoying and the rents are rising because of it. Just ignore this area and the "artists" who want attention. Please.

Personally, I find this art to be non-art, just embarrassing and contributing to the look-at-me culture that's common to the smug hipster who are proclaiming Bushwick as the new Holy Land for hipsters and, thus, helping to raise the rents in this area.

P.S. I know there's a lot of nice and down-to-earth hipsters and artists in the area, but this hype has got to stop. Eventually, you, the writers who are the pep rally for this nonsense, will end up hating yourselves when you can no longer afford the area that was once cheap.
March 1, 2014, 9:15 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Well, the Chooch owns three buildings, so that's not a problem. And yes, he has long promoted Brooklyn as a place for artists and hipsters. There's no conflict between art and gentrification. It's all part of a deliberate plan. Abrakazaam baby.
March 2, 2014, 10:35 am
June Maxwel from Lower Manhattan says:
Went to see this show today only to find the door locked, no access and nothing happening. It was freezing out and I had trouble finding the place but I was interested to see what these people were doing and persevered in trying to find it. Whoever is running this show is inconsiderate and self absorbed. The sign on the door indicates the show is open all 10 days so it was reasonable to think it would be open on 3/3 at 330pm. They couldn't be bothered to put any information on the door explaining why it was closed. Call their phone number and see what you get. Some self important loser who sounds like he's stoned out of his mind and couldn't be bothered to check and see that the message is cut off midway. I don't know these people but I seriously dislike their entire mentality.
March 3, 2014, 10:36 pm
samsung from ken says:
thanks for sharing this
kinh doanh it von |
phan biet giay nike |
chua so gan |
March 5, 2014, 8:55 am

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