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The 23:1 Challenge


(dry wall, wood and repurposed steel door, 6’x8’x8’, March 2015)

1 hand = 50,000 people who are incarcerated in federal prisons, state prisons, juvenile detention centers, local jails, 'Indian' Country jails, military prisons, immigration prisons and civil commitment centers

I challenged participants to sit in this cell for 23 seconds, 23 minutes, or 23 hours.

This piece is informed by the prison industrial complex. The United States has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. From the outside, viewers will see an enclosed space, a 6ft x 8ft cell built based on the average size of prison and jail cells. Each second in such a confined place can cause physical, mental and spiritual deterioration. The lack of stimulation and ability to socialize has a profound effect on our psyche.

This piece speaks to the cruel and unusual punishment of solitary confinement and maximum security prisons which enforce 23 hours of being locked in a cell with only 1 hour each day to walk around a common area. 

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