Box 1

Manual for ‘out of the box’



Note to the curators

As much as possible, the installation should look like the image above. This will entail, for example, crossing the sticks when the sculpture is removed from the crate, and arranging the puffs as shown.


Description of the project: A multi-authored installation produced by a collective of five anthropologists who were participants in an experimental ethnographic event: “The Comedy of Things” in Tisvildeleje, Denmark – 2014 August 24-29.

The installation was the product of intensive theoretical conversations and playful exchanges on the topic of the dialog between things, mythic narratives, and joking relations between the five anthropologists: Debbora Battaglia, Alberto Corsin-Jimenez, Kasper Knudsen, Trine Mygind Korsby, and Rane Willerslev.

The artifacts themselves were contributed by the collective: Each anthropologist brought with them to the event one artifact from their primary research field, and one artifact from their place of origin. These ten artifacts comprise the content of the new cosmos that the installation performs.

Installation Instructions

Contained within the box:

  • Mobile sculpture consisting of objects covered in bubble wrap. NOTE: THE BUBBLE WRAP IS PART OF THE INSTALLATION AND SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED.
  • 300 sheets of black paper, printed on both sides, for construction into boxes:
  • INSIDE OF THE BOX: White letters
  • OUTSIDE OF THE BOX: Grey letters
  • Envelope containing USB stick with recorded voices, to run on a continuous loop     throughout the exhibition. The loop function has to be activated by museum staff.
  • Black tape to seal the boxes (see sample included in the flightcase)

To be constructed:

  • 100 small black cardboard boxes, to be fully folded into cubes, and sealed by black tape.
  • Boxes should be placed near the installation, for visitors to pick up and use.


  • Ideally, 4 speakers, or some device for surround sound that broadcasts the recorded voices on the USB stick, somewhat at a distance from the primary installation, to create the impression of a nearby group engaging in a discussion.

Instructions for hanging:

  • Hang (for example, from the ceiling or rafters) so that the highest objects are approximately at eye level of a grown male person in your region.
  • Directly beneath the sculpture, on the floor, is the flight case – opened into three interlocked sections to create a rectangular floor space beneath the sculpture.
  • Note – the lowest point of the bubble wrap should end approximately 3 cm from the flight case rectangle.
  • Viewers must be able to move fully around the sculpture – ideally, 2 meters from the wall or any other installation space:
  • Note – no barrier between the sculpture and the visitor.
  • Visitors must be allowed to gently interact with the sculpture, by raising the bubble wrap. The bubble wrap should not be removed from the object to which it is attached: it is an integral part of the sculpture.
  • In arranging the sculpture for exhibition, the objects must be fully covered by the bubble wrap.

Instructions for viewers

Contained within the small foldable black boxes that will be fully folded and sealed by the museum staff prior to exhibition. It is at the discretion of the curators whether the boxes can leave with the guests, or be deposited for recycling in an appropriate (ideally, black) basket or bowl.


Stills from ‘Discovering Out of the Box’:

Ghistbride#1 Ghostbride#2 Ghostbride#3 Ghostbride#4