JET LAG (1998-2001)

A collaboration between The Builders Association and Diller + Scofidio.

JET LAG is a cross-media project developed collaboratively by The Builders Association and the architect/media artists Diller + Scofidio. Our shared interest in combining the presence of live performers with the electronic presence of new technologies prompted the two companies to begin this project.

JET LAG is based on two actual personalities in recent history, whose lives were enmeshed in complications of time and space brought on by contemporary technologies.

1. Sarah Krassnoff was an American grandmother, who over a period of six months in 1970 crossed the Atlantic in 167 consecutive flights with her grandson to elude the pursuit of the child’s father and psychiatrist. They traveled New York to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to New York, never once leaving the airport. After a non-stop chase that lasted nearly half a year, Krassnoff finally died of jet lag. In his book “The Third Window” Paul Virilio cites this event, and calls Sarah Krassnoff “a contemporary heroine who lived in deferred time.”

2. Joining the 1969 Round The World competition, yachtsman Donald Crowhurst set off on a solo circumnavigation race around the globe. Driven by the guaranteed publicity of the event, Crowhurst attempted the difficult voyage without adequate preparation. Encountering severe difficulty, he aborted the race in the first leg. However, rather than returning home, Crowhurst sailed in circles off the coast of South America, producing a counterfeit log and sending home regular reports documenting a fake ten-month voyage around the world. The British press dutifully published his reports of his (faked) journey, and he became a working-class hero. While circling at sea, Crowhurst kept a haunting diary charting his mental deterioration and increasingly delusional episodes. While in the apparent lead of the race, Crowhurst threw himself off his boat, and presumably drowned. Crowhurst’s story is recreated here through films and tapes he created during his journey.

These true stories feature people severed from the conventions of time and space. In Krassnoff’s world of high-speed travel, geography is compressed into the time between take offs and touch downs. In Crowhurst’s world of faked geography, his location and identity are manufactured solely through his representations for and by the media.

JET LAG received OBIE awards for “Outstanding Production” and “Best Actor” in 1999-2000.

Contributing Artists

Directed by Marianne Weems
Created by Diller + Scofidio and The Builders Association

Ann Carlson
Tim Cummings
Dominique Dibbell
Kevin Hurley
Heaven Phillips
Dale Soules
Jeff Webster

Design and video concept by Diller + Scofidio
Written by Jessica Chalmers
Video Designer, Christopher Kondek
Sound Designer, Dan Dobson
Lighting Designer, Jennifer Tipton
Computer Animation, by James Gibbs/dbox and Eric Schuldenfrei
Costume Designer, Ellen McCartney
Video Co-Designer/Video System Designer/Operator, Peter Norrman
Video System Operator/Camera Operator/Flight Attendant, Amber Lasciak
Design Associate, Lyn Rice
Lighting Associate, Susan Hamburger
Production Manager, Martin Stevenson
Assistant Director, Shelley Lasica
Stage Manager, Natalia de Campos
Assistant for Computer Animation, Eric Schuldenfrei
Assistant Costume Designer, Wren Crosley
Set Construction, Adam Kovacevic and Laurens Kolks

Produced by Renata Petroni with The Builders Association


JET LAG was a coproduction of La Maison des Arts, Creteil; Le Centre Culturel Transfrontalier Le Manege, Maubeuge; Centre of Research for Cultural Development, Nantes; Kulturhus, Aarhus; and Kaaitheater, Brussels.

Additional funds were provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Curtis W. McGraw Foundation, Good Works Foundation, Graham Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, The Microsoft Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council On The Arts, and the generous support of individual donors.

JET LAG toured in 1998-2000 to venues including The Kitchen, New York; Kulturhus Arhus, Denmark; Lantaren/Venster, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Kaaitheater, Brussels, Belgium; Maison des Arts/Creteil, Paris, France; Fin-de-Siecle Nantes, France; Trafo House Budapest, Hungary; KIT’s Sommerscene 99 in Copenhagen, Denmark; Le Maillon, Strasbourg, France; Spiel-Art Festival at the Marstall Theater, Munich, Germany; On the Boards, Seattle; and the Barbican Theater, London.

The production received its American premiere at the grand opening of Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, May 1999.