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Since 1999 Mai-Thu Perret has been writing a story entitled “The Crystal Frontier.” This ongoing story follows a group of women disillusioned with capitalist society and patriarchal convention, who set up an autonomous community in the desert of New Mexico. This community called “New Ponderosa” is dedicated to the invention of a new, non-alienated relation to labor and nature. Mai-Thu Perret related the story of these women in the form of fragments from diaries, letters, or activity schedules written by commune members. In addition to this narrative, she creates objects, which she describes as the “hypothetical production” of the commune.
Referring to Sol Lewitt’s phrase “the idea is the machine that makes the art”, Mai-Thu Perret resorts to fiction as a generative mechanism, “a way of creating a machine to make the art.” With this strategy, she aims to free herself from the subjectivity of authorship while questioning the position of the author in the production of artworks.