the 1x1 project with Office of Experiments

Suspension of Disbelief
Washington DC,

The Transformer Gallery that acted as our base for the project. 
the 1x1 project
Office of Experiments

Public art initiative, Washington, D.C., March 20 – July 1, 2012 at numerous sites and event based performances in the Federal District and surrounding areas in the former Union state of Maryland and former Confederate state of Virginia.

Working with Tina O’Connell, Office of Experiments was commissioned to take part in the Centenary Celebrations of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.

Connecting the site of 1000 Cherry Trees in the Monumental core of WashingtonDC with the devastated Japanese mainlaind following the earthquake, tsunmani and Fukushimi Diaichi disaster one year before, we imported water from the Japanese mainland. This water was placed in 1000 vials. Each vial, containing no more liquid than a tear, was poured by volunteers and members of the public  onto trees at different sites in Washington DC. We worked with Schools and representatives from local community who facilitated the project.

Responding to the curatorial brief of Steve Rowell 'Suspension of Diselief" we further mapped the sites of lobbying bodies, news organisations, nuclear watchdogs and others in Washington DC political center. We marked these sites using an iconic image captured from one of the sites of devastation, a Reuters news document to be distributed and sold worldwide.

Curated by Steve Rowell, a member of Office of Experiments.

With thanks to many friends in DC, including Casey Smith of Corcoran, Akemi Magawa, Victoria and her team at Transformer Gallery who wholeheartedly supported the project. 

Interview magazine review of Suspension of Disbelief;

Most moving of all, however, is Office of Experiment’s 1×1 comprised of 1,000 small vials of “tears,” water collected in Japan after the earthquake. Visitors are encouraged to pour the water on a cherry tree bringing about a symbolic rebirth. This act also reflects what Tokyo’s mayor hoped to do a century ago: promote an international exchange between the two continents encouraging new life and friendships to blossom. As evidenced this weekend, the vibrant 5×5 project is the start of a new era of tradition.

DC Public, March 27, 2012

The aim of Suspension of Disbelief curatorial experiment is to investigate the rich legacy of Washington, D.C. as a place of intricate historic meaning and arcane ciphers, at the coordinates of cultural, institutional, and ideological vectors of influence. The District, neither a city nor a state, exists in an indeterminate realm, suspended between exception and inclusion. The five artist projects of Suspension of Disbelief act as ephemeral, temporal monuments on a stage crowded with contradictory interpretations of history, memorialization, and public space, in a media-saturated theater of contemporary politics. - Steve Rowell, as curator.

Artists in Suspension of Disbelief:

Deborah Stratman & Steve Badgett (USA)
Lize Mogel (USA)
Office of Experiments (UK)

Charles Stankievech (Canada)

Original website developed by Lisa Haskell and 8Bit Lemon

The Project was moved to the Washington DC Arts and Humanities Department (above)

A vial held up in the Monumental Core where most of the Cherry Trees are located.

Marking Sites of Interest across the Capital.