Building People Boxes (for the living)

Here is the finished model-minus the doors-for The Way Out, my sensory-deprivation-inspired project. A recap: two tanks that a viewer/participant crawls into via front hatches. The shape of the tanks causes the participant into a supine position. Each tank will contain a contrasting sound/light environment. There is a tunnel connecting the two, acting as a “crossfade.” the_modelThe intention of the tanks is to activate the reptilian brain, to revive a relationship to senses that humans have lost, to realign faulty instincts. A tall order and I could completely fall on my face. There is a universality in the senses that I am interested in.

And now, some process photos.

The cart of raw materials-lumber and MDF (medium-density fiberboard).

materialsThe sides of the tank, clamped to preserve their flatness. When stored upright, they bend (we learned this the hard way).

the_panelsThe edges of the panels will be routered to soften the boxiness. This panel edge has been sanded, routered and filled with bondo for smoothness.


me_sandingand more sanding…(Greg, awesome project assistant). Toby has also been invaluable as my industrial design consultant and builder.

greg_sandingWhy so much sanding? Cause the goddamn table saw and router has been out of commission for too long.

temporarily_out_of_orderThis project has been doomed. We’ve had broken equipment, parts not arrive that have held up the process, bent panels, illness, cancelled flights, days the lab has closed due to weather. Someone told us we need to have a plan B and plan C. Greg responded, “We are on plan R).”

My biggest challenge is the lighting and sound from here on out. Tamara, our thesis writing advisor, reminded me that there is value in paring down,  to curate absence instead of presence, to lose the kaleidescopic overload lighting. I need feedback from my colleagues on this.

What am I doing “in the world?” Watching movies, going to the flotation tank (thanks to Gravity Spa for supporting my research), seeing exhibits.

Here’s what I’m after:


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