The Third Thing

Alex Schweder

Emotion: Desire

Described as a cocktail of fur, mirror, air, and sound, The Third Thing was born when the artist began exploring the possibility that the inflatable spaces he had been making for over a decade could also be sonic instruments. Thought of as a band, a duo, the two works that comprise this experience are the mirrored vocalist, Her Joy and the furry string player, His Dilution, who merge into a third as they compose sound and space in an intertwined way. Rising and falling as she breathes, Her Joy, is thought of by the artist as vocalist in the inflatable band The Third Thing. Her lyrics become more and less muffled as the air of her breath inhales and exhales, a rising and collapsing mirror ball at a size that dinosaurs might dance to. During this slow process the reflections of her mirrored dress let the sparks fly. Just as the party ends, it begins again. The movement of this bounced light licking architectural surfaces and the audience of this band are like kinetic light paintings that fill the space of music. Upon first seeing His Dilution, thick fur suggests a deep bass growl. Ethereal tones and bright plucks lead audiences to consider a more complex understanding of these characters. 



Alex Schweder describes his work as “Performance Architecture” for the ways his environments are developed through performance thinking. His projects include inflatables at a range of scales, extreme buildings that he occupies for periods of time, projections onto mist, and performed renovations of domestic space. By making architecture through performance, Schweder works with space toward questions rather than solutions. His work has been exhibited and collected internationally including the MOMA, Tate Britain, Performa 17, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the SFMOMA – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and currently lives and works in New York City.

A production