documentary film, concept and creation, 52 mins., 2016-2017
Canon 5D Mark IV, with Canon 16-35 F2.8, Tokina 24-70 F2.8 and Canon 70-200 F2.8 lenses. Edited and finished in Premiere Pro
Art installation. Social experiment. Movement.
Changing the world, one cube at a time?
A documentary on The Life Cube project in downtown Las Vegas, 2016.
I met Scott Cohen at Burning Man some years ago. Scott’s positive experience with creating life goal lists had made him convinced that he needed to gift his art project, The Life Cube, to the Burning Man community. A “mailbox” that invited participants to write down their goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations, and place it in the installation.
During the burn of the art installation, these messages would be sent up to the universe, to manifest them. In later versions, Scott had expanded this idea, by adding the opportunity for participants to paint, draw, and write on the installation. And, he invited hosts and musicians to use the space as a place to come and do yoga sessions, workshops, and performances. The Life Cube has become a community project, carried by so-called ‘Cube-ists’. People that have seen the power of the installation changing their life, and the life of others.
After three Life Cubes at Burning Man, Scott now had a new goal, and that goal was taking this experience from Burning Man to cities around the world. The first non-Burning Man version of the Life Cube happened in Las Vegas in 2014. I wasn’t there then but came to document the second version, in 2016, that lasted for a month.
Why would a participatory art project that was first made at Burning Man be interesting and transformative to a city’s community? What role does goal setting, experiencing flow, and being playful have in that? And, how does a project like this help nurture and increase the participants’ happiness, by connecting and creating community? I tried to answer all of these questions, and more, in this documentary.
Excerpts taken from an article that I wrote about this project for the website Happiness.org.