👽 Lee Tusman


2017 - 2024

Messlife is a DIY online warehouse for art, music and collaboration: a Temporary Autonomous Zone of the sky.

Messlife manifests through online and in-person art exhibitions, popping up within galleries, alternative spaces and classrooms even as its true form is situated within cyberspace.

Messlife is both a virtual space as well as an experimental art tool. It consists of an open sandbox platform, taking the metaphor of a DIY artist warehouse. The environment supports a simultaneous community of no more than a few dozen participants who primarily build collaged sculptures and digital readymades, skate, or explore its nooks and crannies.

Useful materials for construction are imported and added or found onsite. Any 2d image can be uploaded into the space, immediately becoming a 3d asset or artwork used for building in an additive constructive manner, used as material for sculpture or to alter one's own body or the shifting floor. The horizontal nature of the tool means that fine art, memes, personal images, drawings, textures, stock photos and screenshots all become readymade materials, and all may be discarded or collected from the virtual dumpsters. These re-used digital materials are shared by the community. Any participant can use anyone else's images, or move, resize, or shift anything. Messlife maps out a method for pirates, neighbors, thieves, classmates, strangers, friends, provocateurs and comrades to work together in cahoots. Messlife supports jamming, the quest for utopia and the sublime, and experimentation that may result in failure.

In addition to the warehouse artspace is a skatepark, dumpsters for storing and discarding old materials, a performance area, art shack, shipping containers, shopping carts.

Like IRL artist communities, the shared dumpsters take on an outsize role here. The virtual dumpster is a generative space for both discarding past images or objects and finding new ones, and new works can be constructed using this detritus.

In addition to the traditional First Person 3d game view, Messlife includes a top down world view, both intended as a generative visual artwork of its own as well as a result of the collected images and manipulations of the participants.

Messlife opens for temporary events. In this body of documentation, images and video captured from the space can themselves be considered a constructed artistic output.


Reverse Tar Pit: Sludge Room March 1 - 3, 2024. Brooklyn Neighborhood Arts. Brooklyn, NY.

Reverse Tar Pit November 30, 2024, New Art City, Online. Onassis ONX, New York, NY

Accumulations.Online November - December 2020, ~empyre~ soft-skinned space, hosted by Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library, Ithaca, NY.

ReFest: CultureHub LA 2020, Los Angeles, CA.

ReFest: CultureHub NYC 2020, New York, NY.

Artopia 2018, LA Weekly, Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Delete Me May 18 - June 1, 2017. The New Wight Gallery, UCLA Design Media Arts, Los Angeles, CA.

Delete Me