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Label: project spotlight

Wednesday 02nd November 2016Project Spotlight: Common Ground

Only rarely do the art world and the Guinness Book of World Records find themselves in common company, but that was just what happened thanks to the latest project from New Creatures, a collaborative effort from partners Jason Naumoff and Ajamu White. Entitled 'Common Ground', the project was an attempt to link up a wide array of kinetic sculptures located across the country that would set each other off in a massive chain reaction that circled the entire country.

The website succinctly explains the generalities of the project:

"In a divided America, is it possible to find common ground?

"Common Ground" is a collaborative kinetic art installation about connecting America through creativity and problem solving. Artists and makers in 5 cities were asked to create kinetic installations inspired by their region and important contemporary issues in their community.  All participants worked with each other to connect their pieces through common communication mediums like texts, emails, and phone calls. As one installation ends, the next is triggered to begin.

The final collaborative chain reaction successfully circled the country in 5 minutes."

Unfortunately, they seem to have glossed over how successful the project was, highlighting only a few projects, but nevertheless the idea is a fascinating one. This writer had originally envisioned a country-wide 'Rube Goldberg'-type machine, sort of a 'Hands Across America' but made out of weird sculptures, which doesn't seem to have been the result (sadly!).

That being said, 6 different cities/regions participated in the project, each providing a series of sculptures that roughly spanned the country. Oakland, Phoenix, Atlanta, New Hampshire, Detroit, and then back around to Oakland.

New Creatures aims to create participatory design projects: "We create highly participatory experiences that engage and inspire. Our goal is to combine true creativity and never attempted ideas, with expert production and professionalism. We dream of New Creatures, build them by hand, then send them on their way hoping the world likes them as much as we  do."

While it seems like this particular project failed to gain the widespread support it needed to really gain traction and make a powerful statement, it was nevertheless a great concept that just needed a bit more focus on grabbing participants in order to make its mark.

Posted on November 02nd 2016 on 06:22pm
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