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This project is from the Summer of 2010 and is now archived. Visit the IMA Island page for the next related project.

High Contrast: Hot/Cold

Besides a couple of nights, I have been out in the heat 24/7 for the past two weeks.  There have been heat advisories from early in the day until 7PM many of these days and it has been up to a scorching 113 degrees according to the heat index.  It seems I have adapted to the heat fairly well (I no longer have rolling sweat on my face all hours of the day.)  Haha.  In fact, stepping inside the island which is 75-90 degrees on the inside compared to 113 outside is just satisfying enough for me.  You would not think a humid 90 degrees would ever feel great, but the contrast from outside in the constant sun feels great.

So here is the crazy thing…Someone brought me a cold bottle of water today which had been chilling in their freezer.  I was so excited to drink something not luke-warm that I chugged this ice water down.  My throat almost hurt because the water felt so cold!

Last week, a friend visited the island but wanted to get some food in the IMA so we hiked over there.  Upon entering the air conditioning, my hair felt like it was all violently standing on end, trying to pull itself out of my body.  Once again, the cold almost felt painful after being so accustomed to the heat.

Here in the US, our homes, restaurants, and institutions blast the AC  way beyond an excessive setting.  In the summer, do our indoor areas need to be so cold that we need jackets and blankets to be comfortable?  And in the winter, do we really need to lounge around in our shorts and t-shirts in the heat of our homes?  If everyone in the US turned down their AC setting by one degree, could you imagine the amount of energy we would save?!


This week…

Congrats to Mike completing his week of solitude last week.  Mike is taking a well-deserved few days off this week.

Today:  A photographer from IUPUI came to explore the island and take some photos.

Tomorrow and Wednesday:  PBS is coming to do a piece on 100 Acres.

Friday:  MY BIRTHDAY!  I get to celebrate my 22nd birthday on Indianapolis Island!

What an exciting week!

Then, next week I will be taking my week of SOLITUDE.


2nd Half-UPDATE

Hi everyone.

We are now reaching the second half of our project and here are a few plans….

Mike will finish up his solitude experiment today, then I will be out on the island for the rest of the time.  He will still be here sometimes but he needs to find a job and he is going on vacation.  Tours will probably still be earlier in the day from around 10 AM to 1 PM. Then, the rest of the day I will be collecting messages, photographing them, posting previous messages, etc.  This is pretty much the same thing we have been doing this whole time.

I am also planning performances which I will conduct from time to time. Some performances will have a scheduled date and duration, but some will be spontaneous and unexpected.

I will be doing my part of the solitude experiment sometime within the next three weeks (probably the 2nd week). Things will not change much for all of you, except my phone will be off and I will not have a typical concept of time.  Tours will still be in the morning, but I will not have a clock to know the time.  Hopefully my biological clock will be consistent!

Anyway, I WANT TO ASK YOU ALL what you might want to see or experience within the last few weeks of the project…

  • Want to collaborate on a performance or art project at 100 Acres?
  • Want a specific blog post?
  • Want us to do something we have not done?
  • Have a question?

We would like your input and creativity!  We might not choose to do everything you mention, but if it applies to our project or interests us then we would love to.  We want to make the most of the rest of the project for all of you as well as us.

Thank you!



We’ve been trying to figure out what the pattern of our days have been as far as when we are open for tours.  I’m thinking that i will feel more comfortable giveing tours in the morning before it gets too hot.  The hours i’ve been working with have been around 10.30-1pm.  If we weren’t careful we would be giving tours all day and we would miss out on a lot of our project.  So that’s what i’m thinking, see you then.


new friends

i was walking to a meeting and went through the loading dock of the IMA. i saw these fresh new bike racks and got excited.

Of course this is the kind of thing i would get excited about, my bike rack now is not cutting it.


water rising

We’ve had almost nightly storms and the park is showing signs. The water level has risen so much in the last couple days and is scheduled to keep rising. I like it, it makes everything feel bigger and more dramatic. i don’t have many before pictures because i never thought of having to prove how much it changed but here are a couple markers i’ve been using. The tree that we dock our boat on the shore is usually 15 feet from the shore and is now right on the edge. The pier usually has a 6-8ft clearance under neath but is now almost at water level. The first question i get when talking about raising water levels is the fear of the island being anchored down and pulled under water, fear not! there is enough slack in the line that we haven’t come close to going down. That is possible, but i think if we get that much water, a submerged island is not going to be our biggest worry.


ride to work

There is an awesome path that goes right from the sculpture building to the IMA. I have to ride through downtown to get the the sculpture building but once i do it’s smooth sailing. The route starts out on the white river path which, as you can imagine, follows the white river. Around 30th street it jogs around the naval armory and connects to the canal tow path which goes right to the IMA park. On the canal it is not unusual to see baby geese, ducks, and sunning turtles.


new location

There has been a little bit of worry about the location of the Island, but those days are gone.  The island has been moved out further toward the middle of the lake.  Hopefully this will deter unwanted visitors and give a more secluded feeling while on board.  I went out to see how it felt and one of the herons was perched on the gardens. I’m so excited to live in the middle of all this.


sharing our land

Everyone recognizes us at the museum as the island residents.  Probably has something to do with us walking around with life vests and oars.  We were stopped on our way out and told us that they had to kick off some un-welcomed visitors who had swum out to the island and were hanging out on the porch.  One of the new challenges of living on the island is the location of the structure in relation to the shore.  We feel like we are caught in a weird spot.  We want to respect Andrea’s and the IMA’s decision of putting the island where it is, but the idea of being to close to shore changes the project so much that it kind of brings us down.   The beach the island is closest to right now is the typical party beach.  Almost every time we visit there is a new set of beer cans and trash.  Today there were beer cans and a cryptic message carved in the sands.

JAM***(Heart) ******NMS

Other than that we accomplished a lot today.  We brought a floating garden which we left out there to see how it weathers.  Jess rowed us out, towing our cargo behind.  We also had a few bike boxes that we cut up to get the contour of the bed.  We will start building the bed this week, having a cardboard model of the size and shape will help us build it off site and bring it to it’s new home already assembled.

Before we left we tied up the garden to the island and left a little message in one of the pots.  “Hello visitors, please take care not to damage our veggies. Thanks, Mike and Jess.”  The island is all locked up so even if someone does get out there i’m not worried about it, but my babies are very vulnerable and there is not really a way to keep them out of people’s reach. I figure all i can do is ask them polietly to leave them be.  I think a hostile sign would lead to hostile reactions.  We’ll see.  So now, i’m back home and the first of the gardens is staying the night in the lake.  I can’t say i’m not nervous for them like an over-protective parent during the first day of kindergarden.



Every time we get out to the island we feel like the experience is getting more and more real and we get more and more excited.  We have our own copy of the keys; now we can get on to the boat and island whenever we want which gives us much more freedom to get things done.  

We met Jenny Mikulay’s site specific art class to give a quick talk on our project.  Jess mentioned how nice it was to talk to fellow artists because they understood a lot of what we were thinking without too much explanation.  

Then we rowed out to the island, we need a lot of practice controlling this transport but we eventually made it.  We had enough time to take some measurements before some threatening clouds came in and we decided to head back home.  We are excited to spend a storm on the island, but not yet.  We have big plans for hidden shelves and interior design, i can’t wait.


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