The Bureau of Manufactured History

Installation Art, May 2013
Indianapolis, USA

Leave New York. Leave London. Leave your computer in the woods. Leave your friends behind. Leave your fears under the bed. Set off on the road to Indianapolis. Walk its streets. Find its gargoyles. Listen to the late night static. Stand on the corner and dream and yell. Know that we are listening.The Bureau (2013)

Invited to Indianapolis for We Are City’s residency program, The Bureau of Manufactured History is a collaboration between James A. Reeves and Oliver Blank. Inspired by the methodologies of Surrealism and the madness of Dada, the Bureau of Manufactured History works to uncover the unconscious content of the city. As our lives and neighborhoods become increasingly hyper-planned sites for commerce, the need for unpredictability, mystery, and romance becomes more urgent.

Taking place in Indianapolis, March through May 2013, the Bureau disseminated a series of instructional cards for the modern flâneur, produced a selection of essays containing myths and mistruths about Indianapolis, and finally constructed an installation entitled, The Former Desk of the First Office of the Bureau of Manufactured History.

Using audio transmissions, written word, mysterious telephone calls, and a performance-based installation that brought city residents inside the Bureau, Reeves and Blank conjured a chaotic, vivid, and wide-angle portrait of the American city.

The Bureau’s installation is currently on display at various locations – both public and private – throughout the city of Indianapolis. The essays, originally produced by James A. Reeves, alongside select photography from the installation, will be released in a forthcoming book during Autumn 2013.

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