Genentech Hall, University of California San Francisco

Theoretical Situations: Cubicle Wars

The smiling industriousness and polite banter of workplaces—ranging from academic research to the neighborhood hamburger pit—may mask a subtext of selfish careerism, sabotage, backstabbing and revenge paralleled in brutality and tragic outcomes by full-scale human war. The unacknowledged reality of these subtexts will be presented and analyzed by rendering the invisible as visible through the display of various forms of workplace intrigue as horrifying physical altercations. In this installation the spacious entrance atrium, elevator, and first floor cubicle farm of a major biotechnology concern will be transformed in situ to a bloodbath of numerous staged scenarios in collaboration with a team of special effects professionals, costume designers, and lighting/electronics specialists manipulating human replicas; scenarios include, for example, an enactment of backstabbing, chattel slavery, crushing workplace despair, ennui, theft, concealment of a corpse, fistfights, power-based sexual trysts, and an office suicide by hanging, among others.