On Feb. 27, artists Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder pledged to spend 10 days living in a giant hamster wheel at The Boiler in Brooklyn. Their installation, called In Orbit, featured a wooden wheel 25-feet in diameter, with living necessities attached to the inner and outer circumference, such as chairs, desks, storage space, beds, and a kitchen-bathroom hybrid. But this innovative living arrangement was no free for all; each artist had his own private living space. Schweder, who is scared of heights, lived on the inside of the wheel, while Shelley resided on the outside. In order to use the various appliances necessary for human functioning, the duo had to work in tandem to move the wheel using their physical prowess. Coordinating their efforts to move the massive structure was surely exhausting and led to the development of exceptional communication skills.
But they’ve had plenty of practice developing their communication skills before. In Orbit is just one of many installations the pair has co-inhabited in a public area. They have also occupied Counterweight Roommate and Stability together as part of their ongoing development of a new artistic genre dubbed “architectural performances pieces.”