“What is Performance Architecture” with guest Alex Schweder

Alex Schweder

Episode 72:

Alex Schweder spent a week living with six other people, in a 24-inch wide apartment, to see what that experience would tell him living spaces. And he did it in a gallery in front of a live audience. He wasn’t just doing performance art. He’s an architect interested in learning about the relationships between psychology and the structures we build. Tonight on Why? we’ll talk with Alex about his experiments and what he calls performance architecture

Alex Schweder works with architecture and performance art to complicate the distinction between occupying subjects and occupied objects. These projects include Practise Architecture at Tate Britain, Flatland at New York’s Sculpture Center, Its Form Follows Your Performance at Berlin’s Magnus Muller, A Sac of Rooms All Day Long at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Counterweight Roommate in Scope Basel, Roomograph at the deCordova Museum, and The Rise and fall in the Marrakech Biennial. The Pollack Krasner and Graham Foundations have funded his projects. Schweder is the author of Stalls Between Walls included in Ladies and Gents, the Gendering of Public Toilets and Performance Architecture included in Urban Interiors. He is a three-time artist in residence at the Kohler Company and was in residence at the Chinati Foundation and American Academy in Rome. Schweder has been a guest professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Pratt Institute, and the Institute for Art and Architecture in Vienna. Alex’s website can be found here.

And for the record, Jack mentions William James and the penopticon, during the show. He meant Jeremy Bentham — making spontaneous mistakes is one of the perils of live radio!

Some of the projects discussed in today’s episode:

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