Tag Archives: New York

Making space accessible. Structures pt.2

What is reality? You could say reality is constructed and that we are a part of those structures, but what makes these structures tangible, how do we sense reality, how do we perceive reality? – This is where Olufar Elliasson comes in. Elliasson is Danish artist who’s well known for it’s large installations and sculptures where he tends to make the natural elements and experiences that it produces more tangible.

“Art is not only about decorating the world and making it look even better or even worse (subjective notion of art), it’s also about taking responsibility.” – Let’s start with this notion of art, and as we go further I’ll try to explain it to you, what it means and most of all, how powerful it’s content is.

What’s the difference between thinking and doing?

What does it mean when I’m in a space, does it make any difference? 

waterfall1New York City Waterfalls – A large-scale installation project by Eliasson which ran from July 2008 till October 2008 in which he tries to make “space” more experienceable, more tangible. To accomplish this he uses the speed of water as an indicator, as a measurement of how big a structure is. He uses it as an indicator of time and therefore also of distance. “How long does it take till the water reaches the surface, how fast is the water falling when watching from a distance”: one could ask himself. This way he attempts to make the space and dimensions of the (enormous) city more tangible. Because New York is after all a city that tends to play around with the sense of space. – It’s enormous, large-scaled, somewhat surreal.

So these waterfalls are not only an act of bringing nature back to the city but also about giving them a sense of dimension. Eliasson beliefs that it makes a big difference whether you have a body which feels a part of space, rather than having a body who’s just in front of a picture. Because when someone has a sense of time and space it makes the space accessible. It makes the space changeable. Again you could relate this with community, to come back to what I talked about yesterday. It could relate to collectivity and the sense of being together. (See last post; “chaos reinvented & how life gave birth to itself” ) Therefore they might feel a part of that space, of society.

But how do we create public space that is both tolerant towards individuality and also to collectivity whithout polerising the two into opposites? Let’s say that experiencing art and space is about taking part into the world,  about sharing responsibility. So what’s the difference between thinking and doing and what’s in between? Experiencing something is what connects both opposites. But what’s experiencing something? Having an experience is taking part in the world, is sharing something,  it’s about sharing responsibility. That’s why art really makes a relevance in this world. Therefore Art and culture has proven that one can create a space which is both sensitive to collectivity and individuality.

BB_Water

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The day the world was once more united.

Michael Arad and Peter Walker – 9/11 Memorial

We shall never forget the day the world stood still. We shall never forget those who gave their lives that day. We shall never forget the days after, we shall not ever forget. Many artists around the world contributed to the same cause by building fountains, sculptures even by rebuilding, to make sure we never forget what happened that day. To remind us how fragile our world can be, how only a few can take away the lives of many. How people all over the world united in greave.

Well, I didn’t want to have the reminder sort of in the sky, so that people would forever look at it. I wanted to have – really to create a city from the bottom up. From that foundation, which held, from the democratic power of what the site really is – Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind, an architect, artist and set designer, who was selected to oversee the rebuilding of the World Trade Centers He titled his concept for the site Memory Foundations, is one of those who made sure we wouldn’t forget by not only building a memorial monument but also by ‘rebuilding’ the site. It is very important to emphasize the fact that Libeskind did not see this project as being an urban one, he saw his master plan as being that which was a place of the spirit, the place were people perished. Therefor it was not a piece of real estate any longer. You could not simply put a building there. Instead he kept the space (where the the towers stood) open and used the site itself as the memorial.

Well, I think one doesn’t really have to invent this memorial space, because it is already there. And it is speaking with a voice and, you know, 4 million of us came to see the site. – Daniel Libeskind

Michael Arad and Peter Walker, whom have built the ‘fountains’. I really do believe that i could not be done better, as Libeskind quoted above, it is not about ‘building’ a memorial, because it is already there. So what they did really emphasizes this thought. They ‘built’ 2 fountains where the towers use to stand (around the fountains all the names of those who lost their lives that day are carved in stone). What made it even more wonderful is the way how they used trees to recreate the shadow the towers would have cast upon the city.

Daniel Libeskind’s Drawing of World Trade Center Site with Memorial Voids

9/11 Memorial – Michael Arad and Peter Walker.

Also artists like Jeff Koons, the most controversial artist alive, made their contribution. He created his tribute sculpture in 2010 and it stands facing the construction of the new site. The work resembles a red flower (which could be free for interpretation). The piece itself is surrounded by an active fountain and raised concrete ring that you could sit on to enjoy and observe the work.

Jeff Koons – Red Balloon animal.

People all around the world made art on this topic. I do not have the means to review and show them all, therefor i’d like to mention them and encourage the world to continue doing so, not only on this topic, but in general. Art bounds, it connects one another. It unites the world.

I’d like to mention one more; Steve Tobin, the artist who made “Trinity Roots”, tells the uplifting story of the 70-year-old sycamore tree that was felled by the intense impact of the collapsing towers across the street from the World Trade Center.  The tree absorbed the shockwaves, which a physicist has compared to those of a small nuclear bomb, and was laying in such a way as to shield historic St. Paul’s Chapel at Trinity Church and its ancient tombstones from falling debris.  The tree, which even took a hit from an I-beam, seemed the only positive story that came out of the tragic events that day.

“The Trinity Root is the most significant work that I shall ever make,” said Tobin.  “I hope that it gives solace to the millions of people who visit Ground Zero from all over the world, and from the community of Lower Manhattan, particularly on the five year anniversary of the day that changed the world forever.”

Steve Tobin – Trinity Root

Memorial stained glass

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