Ever feel like you’re on a big hamster wheel and you can’t get off? Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder know that feeling all too well. The two performance artists are spending 10 days living, eating and sleeping on a giant hamster wheel to make a larger point: We all have to work together to get through the daily grind.
“I wasn’t prepared for this ... perhaps I should have been,” Shelley said from atop the wheel, his feet dangling off the side of the 7.5-meter-tall wood-and-metal structure.
One wrong move by him or his fellow human hamster and they risk being thrown off. They are perched on opposite ends of the wheel, 180 degrees from each other, and must carefully coordinate their movements. When one walks, the other must walk in the opposite direction. When one stops, the other must stop.
“It’s really an exploration of what it means to collaborate,” Schweder said from the relative safety at the bottom, inside of the wheel. “It’s an exploration of trust between two people.”
Their live performance called In Orbit runs through Sunday at The Boiler, the Pierogi gallery’s performance space in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. A few curious onlookers have come by to gawk at the spectacle, which often is more still life than poetry in motion.
On a recent visit, Shelley and Schweder kept the wheel moving for only a few seconds at a time. The wheel they built themselves is 18 meters in circumference and equipped with everything they need: narrow beds, chairs, desks, a fridge, rudimentary kitchen (they’ve made omelets and sausages) and a chemical toilet (with privacy screen) — all strapped down. Even the participants are tethered to safety harnesses.
“We’re living on a big wheel that is essentially a two-bedroom apartment,” Schweder said.
“Sleeping is a kind of refuge,” Shelley added. “There’s psychological pressure here being in this thing so when you get to sleep it’s easy to stay there.”
Both men say they knew going in that life on the wheel would be tough, and they are trying to stay mentally tough until they can once again get back on terra firma.
“Ten days is a number you can hold in your mind and count down,” Shelley said. “It’s like being told to stand in the corner when you’re a kid.”
Chen Zhiwu (陳志武) says that the COVID-19 crisis puts into sharp focus that we are in a new cold war, with China and the US being the two protagonists. “It’s almost literally in front of us,” says Chen, Director of Asia Global Institute and Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Hong Kong. Political observers were hesitant, Chen says, even up to the beginning of this year, to confirm a new cold war was underway. “But ... the coronavirus has made clear the clash in values and way of life between what China would like to pursue, and what
For tourists visiting Hualien, Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園) is the first order of business. But if you find yourself in the city with half a day to spare — your train back to Taipei will leave mid-afternoon, say — it’s hardly worth busing out to Taroko Gorge. Instead, borrow or rent a bicycle or a scooter, or hail a cab, and set out for one of these attractions. At only one of these places is there an admission charge. CISINGTAN SCENIC AREA A literal translation of Cisingtan (七星潭) would be “Seven Stars Pond,” but there’s no pond here, just the vast Pacific
I had really hoped that this film would be a Taiwanese answer to the American camp classic Snakes on a Plane, but Spiders on a Ship — er, Abyssal Spider (海霧) — takes itself way too seriously. One major gripe about Taiwanese commercial features is that they are prone to being unnecessarily over the top, but that’s the one element that could have made Abyssal more watchable. The lack of camp is especially disappointing since director Joe Chien (錢人豪) first made his mark with the intentionally trashy horror movie Zombie 108 (棄城Z-108). Released in 2012, it is considered Taiwan’s earliest
The remake of Mulan struck all the right chords to be a hit in the key Chinese market. Disney cast beloved actor Liu Yifei (劉亦菲) as Mulan and removed a dragon sidekick popular in the animated original to cater to Chinese tastes. Still, the movie drew decidedly mixed reviews after its coronavirus-delayed release in China last week, with thousands panning it online. The movie was rated 4.9 out of 10 by more than 165,000 people on Douban, a leading Web site for film, book and music ratings. Negative comments and jokes about the film outnumbered positive reactions on social media. Mulan has