How do we find balance in our homes? Artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley delved into that question quite literally with ReActor, a performance architecture dwelling that tilts and spins with the wind. Then, they moved into the leaning house for five days.
ReActor is located at Ghent, New York, just over half an hour south of Albany, at the Omi International Arts Center. The 44-foot by 8-foot house made of concrete and wood rests atop a 15-foot tall column, and can rotate a full 360 degrees. The house moves depending on the movement of the inhabitants, or the wind and weather.
According to an Omi International Arts Center Facebook post, the artists described their experience of living in the house: “We’re spacemen in the wilderness.” Both artists kept journals aboard ReActor, and described the movements of the tilting house as “graceful and oceanic.”
Shelley said, “We almost never stop drifting in circles. It takes only the slightest breeze to set us in motion.” Schweder said, “A view that is always changing, sleep that comes and goes with the sun’s light, and a sense of connectedness with your roommate through knowing what he is doing and feeling mediated by the building – in short, this building is breaking our habits.”
For five days, the artists experienced a novel connection to the environment and to each other, as they had to be conscious of where they moved. They enjoyed the gentle movement of the house but also at times felt their movements were constrained, as they continually had to make small adjustments in favor of balance.
Schweder and Shelley have worked together since 2007, and ReActor is their first work set outdoors. Though they’ve left the spinning home for now, they’ll return September 24-25 and October 6-10 for further performances. ReActor will grace Omi International Arts Center’s Architecture Omi Field 01 for two years.
Images via Omi International Arts Center Facebook