PRINT November 2008


ONE SUNNY SATURDAY IN MAY 2003, the majority of citizens in the Czech Republic village of Ponětovice (population approximately three hundred) went shopping at exactly 7 am and spent ten crowns each on their groceries. They opened their windows at 9, swept their houses at 10, cycled around town at 10:30. At noon they had dumplings with tomato sauce for lunch. At 5 pm they all met up for a beer. And at 10 pm, in a final flourish of civic synchrony, they flipped off their lights and went to sleep. Why? Because Kateřina Šedá, then a student at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, asked them to. Or told them to: The statistically average day she had created for the villagers to perform (after intricately surveying their habits) was laid out on an instruction sheet headed “Regime for a Day,” and, though initially she had secured their willing participation in the project—trekking from house to house,

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