Monday, June 27, 2011
Rainbow City // FriendsWithYou
Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing Rainbow City at The Lot under the High Line. The installation was a bright and weightless departure from the concrete and glass surrounding it. I've been a fan of FriendsWithYou for a while now, it was nice to finally experience their work on a large scale. My previous interactions have only included printed material and a handful of boxed toy surprises from KidRobot. There were a ton of families in the Lot on Sunday afternoon, it was heartwarming to see children and adults interact with these simplified totems with equal levels of joy, surprise and wonder.
This brief interview with Sam Borkson and Aruro Sandoval from the Miami Art Basel is super enlightening. The artists discuss how their work aims to [paraphrasing] acknowledge an ignored state of human development where adults can still react to their surroundings with a childlike awe and inspire simple spirituality. I'm so intrigued by the notion of 'reinterpreting ritual acts into acts of play'. A ritual is preformed regularly, one should make time for fun regularly. Rainbow City has got me thinking a lot about how compelling the universality of play is.
In my work I'm particularly interested in the specificity of experience and how one's personal experience relates to that of others in a certain space. Rainbow City is a space delegated for interaction with these spectacular, anonymous, beings that intend to inspire 'magic, luck, and friendship.' The physical lightness of each totem contributes immensely to these feelings. If they were heavy, static structures - even with the same stripes and smiles- the totems would convey a completely different mood and sentiment. The isolation of these specific totems into a central location designates a sacred space where one can become more attune to his or her self through these simple actions. The Lot underneath the High Line was a smart choice for the installation, as it became even more surreal nestled away under an elevated park between buildings near the river.