Canadian design collective Daily Tous Les Jours (previously) was recently invited to bring their fantastic musical light swing installation to the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. The interactive swing set titled simply, The Swings, is comprised of illuminated panels that also trigger audible tones that harmonize as people swing. As more and more people join in the act of swinging turns into randomly improvised melody and light show. From their project site:
The Swings allow participants to make music with their entire bodies, to connect to one another and to have a sense of ownership of public space due to the music they create. The result is a giant collective instrument that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds. The project offers a new experience in collective music making, available to enliven urban spaces, festivals, special events, and more.
The Swings were on view through July 11th of this month, but the entire installation is now on tour. If you’re interested in bringing it to your own arts event, get in touch at the bottom of this page.
Swing is a 2007 kinetic sculpture by Luxembourg musician, artist and photographer Su-Mei Tse. If you’re like me you can’t wait to jump on for a ride, however it would all be over before it started as the entire piece is essentially a rigid light made of white neon tubes and controlled by a motor embedded in the ceiling. Watch the video above to see it installed at Peter Blum gallery back in 2009 along with her neon bird cage. (via 2headedsnake, mithril, yiping lim)
Measuring just 4 x 4 x 8 meters this small, windowless room might normally be considered a claustrophobic nightmare if it were’t lined from floor to ceiling with dozens of mirrors creating a reflective universe that seems to stretch into infinity. Titled “The Phoenix is closer than it appears,” the room was constructed by artist Thilo Frank at the Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark. The Matrix-like space also features a swing that allows visitors an opportunity to view hundreds of cloned reflections swinging at all possible angles. I can think of quite a few illicit substances that should probably not be consumed before entering this room. (via designboom, myedol)
It is one of my great regrets that I didn’t head up to New York over the last few weeks to catch Ann Hamilton’s groundbreaking installation, The Event of a Thread, at the Park Avenue Armory. Perhaps the only saving grace of not seeing it in person, or having not covered it on Colossal as coverage bounced around the web, is this gorgeous new video by my friend Paul Octavious who managed to catch a final glimpse of the installation before it closed last weekend. As visually stunning as it appears, I’m certainly left asking… “So what does it all mean!?” A field of swings suspended 70 feet in the air, a gargantuan white curtain attached to a network of ropes and pulleys, readers sitting at giant wooden tables reading to nearby pigeons. Via the Armory:
Visual artist Ann Hamilton combines the ephemeral presence of time with the material tactility for which she is best known to create a new large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Commissioned by the Armory, the event of a thread references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day.
To read more about the artists intent and purpose you can read her artist statement (PDF). Thanks to Paul for letting me use his imagery here, you can see more photos he shot by following him on Instagram.
From the kabillions of likes on YouTube and Tumblr this project has apparently circumnavigated the internet already, but for some reason it’s been entirely off the Colossal radar. A collaborative installation between Mike O’Toole, Andrew Ratcliff, Ian Charnas and Andrew Witte, the Waterfall Swing is an intelligent swingset made from mechanical waterjets (solenoids) that create a falling plane of water in the path of the swinger. However just as the rider reaches the rainfall the water parts briefly ensuring nary a drop dampens their swinging. The swing was unveiled at the 2011 World Maker Faire, and you can find additional videos and specifications to build your own here, and for more intelligent rainfall goodness checkout the Rain Room. Photos above courtesy Paul Sobota.
21 Balançoires (21 Swings) is a recent project by Canadian design collective Daily Tous Les Jours, known for their wide variety of interactive public installations and experiences. 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. Pre-recorded sounds from a xylophone, piano, and other instruments were programmed into color-coded swings that when in use play various notes, however when swung in unison with careful cooperation, more complex melodies and harmonies arise. An additional “secret mode” was programmed to only play when all 21 swings were in use. What a fun idea.
Earlier this week a few blogs reported a photo from this series as being some type of swingset bus stop. According to Andraos, while the installation has close proximity to the street it does not actually serve the purpose of a bus stop. All photos courtesy Olivier Blouin.