Campus Life

Dealer Investigates: Harper Elevator Actually Works, “Out-of-Order” Sign Revealed to be Performance Art

HARPER MEMORIAL LIBRARY— An investigation recently conducted by both the Dealer and seven TAPS majors concluded that the east tower elevator in Harper actually works, and the “Out of Order” sign outside is an elaborate piece of performance art.

As explained by Jupiter Phoenix, the Renaissance Society visiting artist behind the sign, “we want students to understand that the University doesn’t care about their wellbeing. By arbitrarily closing a working  elevator for eight months, students can inhabit the embodied experience of institutional neglect, which will allow them to interrogate the broader dialectic and teleological consequences of late capitalist society.”  

The broken elevator installation is just one of many pieces of performance art commissioned by the university in recent months. Phoenix stated that shoddy campus wifi, broken heating in classrooms, and Bartlett’s burst pipes are all attempts to “mirror the emotional state of UChicago’s students through alterations to the built environment. “The $80,000 tuition is also performance art,” said Phoenix, “though you still have to pay the money”