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Triple Blind Study

water, tank, metal piping, shower curtains, concrete
Artscape, Baltimore 2008

This communal shower was installed to be used by the homeless over the course of several months. While exhibiting a lack of domesticity, it simultaneously provided an intimate space for the most basic hygienic necessity of daily life for those to whom the street is home. The title is borrowed from scientific drug research, which tests the placebo effect of alternative drugs on volunteer addicts. A study is called triple-blind when neither patient nor nurse nor immediate researcher knows the content of the substance injected. In this case, Triple Blind Study provides privacy and an opportunity to come clean with an issue so visible in the public sphere. The effects of this study – in other words, the use of the showers – were witnessed, not documented, and left behind closed shower curtains.