Interactive sculpture, Silo City, Buffalo, 2018
Seven swings tethered to one another form one long inter-connected swing. Directly linking the experience of individuals to one-another, the project speaks of relationships and demands communication, negotiation and trust from its users.
Public space has always offered opportunities to encounter strangers, yet while we may occupy a common space our experiences often remain solitary. Finding ways to create real experiences in public space has never been so pressing as we find ourselves more and more in a state of isolated distraction, interacting with our mobile devices instead of with others. We try to make works that encourage engagement with strangers. We see this as an optimistic act for it’s potential to expose people to others with worldviews that differ from their own; a sort of antidote to the echo-chambers of our social media.
We work with elements that people know how to use intuitively (swings, sound cones, deck chairs, beach toys) as familiar prompts to make our work immediately accessible and present them in an unusual way (playing with arrangement, scale, shape) to challenge their preconceptions of how these objects might be used or the audience they may be intended for. We use these items to create spaces of play, in the broadest definition of that term, as places that can be used to liberate the individual from the generic and enrich shared everyday experience. As Miguel Sicart and Thomas S. Henricks argue, play is not only an activity of personal growth and self-realization but also a social way of operating in the world.