Balancing Ground

Creative City Challenge 2014 Winner (Minneapolis, MN)

A skeletal wooden structure houses six rows of six-foot-long pairs of wood benches and a twelve-foot-long playground-style teeter-totter. This dynamic see-saw (driven by individual Arduino processors and accelerometers) allows people to play with physical balance and also to hear and to reflect on certain words and phrases that are evocative of balance‚Äďaudio files are triggered as people go up and down, evoking a dialogue between the two sides. Inside the space, directional speakers play longer fragments of conversations and interviews about balance and the absence of it, triggered by motion sensors.

The installation gently reacts to the natural light transitions of the day through the lengthening and shortening of the structure's many shadows, accentuated by the structure's placement on the plaza. A canopy of prismatic material and reflective fragments is strung between the rafters, casting bits of color and shadow down to the seating area below. The structure, proportions and fractured light suggest a sacred space deconstructed to its most elemental architectural components.

As the sun sets, theatrical lights illuminate the structure and the reflective materials of the canopy above, transforming the structure into an enlivened environment and an inverted silhouette of the intricate overhead patterns and shapes.

Balancing Ground is the winner of the 2014 Creative City Challenge in Minneapolis. The Creative City Challenge is a collaboration between The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC), the Culture and Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis and Northern Lights.mn.

{Collaboration with Christopher Field, Amanda Lovelee (public engagement) and Kyle Waites (lighting), funded by the Minneapolis Convention Center, the City of Minneapolis, Northern Lights.mn}