What looks like an iceberg in the middle of a lake or a half-melted marshmallow is actually is an experimental living structure inhabited by art students. Indianapolis Island is an art piece created by Andrea Zittel and inhabited this summer by art students Jessica Dunn and Michael Runge. It is one of the eight works of art in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 100 Acres art and nature park.
About 20 feet in diameter, Indianapolis Island is a tiny house made of fiberglass and foam that examines the daily needs of contemporary human beings. For the next four summers, the island will be occupied by one or two commissioned residents who are local art students. They will collaborate with Zittel by adapting and modifying the island’s structure according to their individual needs.
On their blog, Dunn and Runge discuss the details of living in an inhabitable art space. They have access to the museum’s Visitor’s Pavillion where there are restrooms, and they also have an emergency sawdust bucket for late-night bathroom needs. They are able to stay cool because of the good insulation of the island and the white color that reflects away the sun. The door and window provide air flow from the cool lake water. They cook with a solar oven, a small grill and use a cooler for their food.
Dunn and Runge will get a lesson in sustainable living during their stay from mid-June to mid-August on the island. Their plans are to grow their own food in floating pots, make their own furnishings, generate electricity with a bicycle and receive messages from others via floating capsules. The tiny floating island will also allow visitors. When the students raise a green flag on the island, guests may ring a bell on the shore to signal their desire for a tour. Visitors will then be picked up in a row boat and given a tour highlighting the efficient living space. When the island’s inhabitants are not giving tours they will create a message-writing centers for visitors to author their own anonymous messages, which they will release in floating containers which look like little floating islands of their own. The messages will then be posted on Dunn and Runge’s blog.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Dunn and Michael Runge