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"Like Duchamp's ideas of readymades, the Dante Hotel functioned as a "found environment". The Dante Hotel became the first alternative space or public site-specific art work produced in the United States."
Checking into the Dante Hotel

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Dante Hotel <1972>

Often works were entirely constructed of the archeology of an incident. In 1972, I rented a room in the Dante Hotel. The identity of a person who could have occupied this space was defined and reflected by the objects in this location. In painting, it might be called negative space. Books, glasses, cosmetics and clothing were selected to reflect the education, personality and socioeconomic background of the provisional identities. Pink and yellow light bulbs cast shadows and audiotapes of breathing emitted a persistant counterpoint to the local news playing on the radio. Visitors entered the hotel, signed in at the desk, and received keys.

I originally intended to keep the room permanently accessible, gathering dust and being naturally changed through the shifting flow of viewers. But "real life" intervened. Nine months later, a man named Owen Moore came to see the room at 3 a.m. and phoned the police. They came to the hotel, confiscated the elements and took them to central headquarters where they are still waiting to be claimed. It was an appropriate narrative closure. In its tenuous and short lived existance, the Dante Hotel marked my path towards interactivity.

I originally intended to keep the room permanently accessable, gathering dust and being naturally changed through the shifting flow of viewers. But "real life" intervened. Nine months later, a man named Owen Moore came to see the room at 3 a.m. and phoned the police. They came to the hotel, confiscated the elements and took them to central headquarters where they are still waiting to be claimed. It was an appropriate narrative closure.

Eventually other temporary works were installed in such unlikely places as casinos of Las Vegas, store windows in New York, even walls of San Quentin Prison. In each the idea was the same; to transform what already existed through an interactive negotiation of simulated or "virtual" reality" as well as to define an"identity" of each context in terms of the "other", or what was not there -- to create a presence out of absence.

It seemed important to liberate the essence of the person who might have lived in room 47 of the Dante Hotel; to flesh out experience through real life.