Perhaps, you are like us and prefer to actively engage with art without getting into trouble for crossing the red velvet “do not touch, do not come close, please just stop” border. Interactive, public artworks can make you feel like a kid running after the ice cream truck – hysterical and hungry. They are so exciting and fulfilling! No matter where you are located, you can probably think of one or two installations in your area. If you can’t, then I am sad for you and we need to get together to do something about it. Regardless, here are some of my faves from around the world:
Playground Crochet – Japan
Japanese artist, Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam used to create crochet playscapes for galleries, but when children started to climb the netted structure, she realized that her work came to life in a whole new way. She decided to switch gears and start creating interactive public artworks that consisted of soft pouches, swinging balls of yarn, and other delightful spaces within the installation. It truly creates a fully tactile experience.
Musical Swings – Montreal
Surrounded on both sides by a new music complex and science center, designers Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat chose to bridge the gap between the two by converting a narrow strip of land into an enormous interactive instrument. There are pre-recorded sounds from a xylophone, piano, and other instruments, all programmed to play various notes – creating complex melodies when the swings move together. I wouldn’t mind putting this in my backyard, really. Or living room. Whatever.
Flame (Gate) – Israel
Ah, my personal fave. Yockai Matos is a Tel Aviv based artist who creates sculptural installations from fluorescent tube lighting. He arranges them into unusual patterns utilizing mundane pieces of hardware. He’s basically a genius in my book. I want to meet him.
Tiger and Turtle: Magic Mountain – Germany
Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth created this hill-top, 70-foot tall sculpture that represents a winding roller coaster, but is actually a staircase that people can explore for its amazing views. It was constructed with carnival rides in mind, built to resemble the loops that are commonly incorporated into roller coasters that people “enjoy” at breakneck speeds. Walking or running up the elevated staircase inspires a similar, thrilling sensation…or so they say.
The Roses – New York City
Paul Kasmin Gallery, in conjunction with New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Fund for the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee agreed upon transforming Park Avenue into a fanciful garden to represent spring while enduring the bleak winter months.
Umbrella Sky – Portugal
This installation came straight from a fairy tale. The umbrellas are designed to look like they’re magically floating in mid-air. Supposedly, it’s an initiative by the council in Agueda, Protugal and is a part of an art festival called Agitagueda. Plus, bonus points for providing shade during their hot summer months!
Each installation requires fearless and carefree participation to bring it to life. It’s amazing to read the stories behind the designs and the thought processes the artists went through while creating them. If you could choose, which would you most likely want to see in your area?
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