V. Proposals

Emily White

An abridged history of sleeping baskets

Part 1

Moses, sleepy inhabitant of the original basket, floats down river in his own personal refuge.

Part 2 (early modernism through the present)

In celebration of domesticity and the faithful family pet, sleeping baskets are the domain of adorable puppies, entire fuzzy litters smooshed together in blissful, snuggly slumber.

Part 3 (1922)

Sleeping baskets are envisioned by and built for Rudolph and Pauline Schindler and Clyde and Marian Chace in West Hollywood, CA, land of balmy breezes, pastoral scenery, and inter-domestic collaborations.

Part 4 (the present)

The proposed project The Prickly Fruit of My Dreams examines the optimal conditions for creative production, exploring the varied interpretations of sleeping baskets. It takes this subject matter as a point of departure to examine design processes through the medium of meditative tasks. Sleeping baskets, in the context of this project, are produced through a meditative process before sleep.

The Schindler House offers a set of conditions specific to the characters for which it was designed. These conditions were understood as ideal for creative production, and worked in concert to the beneficial environmental conditions of early twentieth century Los Angeles. The floor plan was ascribed great importance in effecting not only spatial relationships, but also temporal ones.

While the tools for creative production have shifted since the Schindler House was built, the image of ideal work conditions is similar, with respect to the confluence of comfort, rest, and inspiration. A balance must be maintained between the conceptual armature of one’s work, on one hand, and small intuitive moves and daily routines, on the other.

For the proposed project I will examine this balance through a one-week residence at the Schindler House. Over the course of the week, I will weave a very large basket during the day and sleep in one of the house’s sleeping baskets at night. The basket making would be a meditation beginning in the afternoon and lasting through the evening. Additionally, I will keep a dream log during the process.

The project draws an analogy between the daily routines of my proposed residence—meditative tasks and sleeping—and the domestic routines designed for the Schindler House. The project appreciates the physical form of the Schindler House, but asserts that ultimately the house’s continued resonance is in its sensitivity to the human rhythms of reflection and creation.

Emily White is a Los Angeles-based artist.

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