architecture · community · creativity · design · environment · play

Dalston House: where every visitor becomes Spider-Man – video | Art and design |

A Victorian terrace has popped up in east London that lets you swing from its ledges, run up its walls and generally defy gravity. Architecture critic Oliver Wainwright hangs loose at Dalston House, the novelty installation by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich.

The artist talks about “enjoyable discovery” and playing with spaces that you might not otherwise think of.

I love how it is an interactive piece of art that only exists when people play with it.

more at Dalston House: where every visitor becomes Spider-Man – video | Art and design |

architecture · children · community · creativity · design · health

Energy drink maker Red Bull proposes skate-able art investment for Myrtle Edwards Park

The Seattle City Government Parks & Recreation site recently hosted a public meeting to gather input on a proposed public art piece in Myrtle Edwards Park that will be used for skateboarding.

Energy drink maker Red Bull has approached Seattle Parks and Recreation about making a community investment that would include commissioning an artist to design and fabricate a unique piece of skate-able art. At the meeting, Seattle Parks presented the history of the proposed project, followed by an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the idea.

Myrtle Edwards Park is located at 3130 Alaskan Way on the shoreline of Elliott Bay, north of the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The Citywide Skatepark Plan, developed in 2006 and 2007 with extensive public process, designated Myrtle Edwards as a recommended site for a skatedot [editor: which is apparently smaller than a skatepark]. Since 2007, Seattle Parks and Recreation has constructed eight new skate parks and skatedots. Two more are in construction and design.

4Culture is administering the Call for Artists associated with this project. The artist will coordinate the design with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

A second follow-up meeting is planned in June.

I love the idea of creating public art that is actually usable, whether it’s by skaters, kids, or even animals. I understand that some art is best appreciated by not messing with it, but especially in a public space sometimes it’s hard to not want to interact with sculptures or murals. I also appreciate Red Bull’s focus on supporting play in all its forms, although private sponsorship of public spaces is always a touchy, tricky gray area.

Is there a public art piece, or artistic skatedot, fountain, whatever, that you really enjoy sitting on, playing on, or just watching others play? Let me know about it in the comments below.

community · creativity · music · play · Social

Making a little street music

For the past four years, inspired by artist Luke Jerram, donated and painted baby grand pianos have been showing up in London during the summertime. This trend has now started to be picked up in major cities around the world, from Toronto, Canada, to Salem, Oregon.

From Now. Here. This.:

‘Play Me, I’m Yours’, an installation of street pianos created by artist Luke Jerram, is back in the capital for the fourth year. This time, in celebration of the City of London Festival’s Golden Jubilee anniversary, 50 *golden* pianos are popping up across London for three weeks until July 13. They can be found all over the city including Soho Square, St Pancras International Station and Parliament Hill – you may well hear the soft tinkling of the ivories before you see them.

From the Everett City Blog:

Pianos will be out August 1-22, 2012 for the Everett Street Tunes: An Invitation To Jam. Make music in the streets during Everett’s new interactive art project, Street Tunes! Musicians – both professional and novice – are invited to play any of the ten pianos located in downtown Everett.

Everett Street Tunes is an interactive art project, from start to finish, beginning with the commissioning of artists to paint and embellish each piano.

From the source itself, Street Pianos‘ website:

Touring internationally since 2008, “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over a two million people worldwide more than 600 pianos have now been installed in cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’.

Located in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges and ferries, the pianos are available for any member of the public to play and enjoy. Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. By creating a place of exchange ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.

The pianos are loaned with the understanding that they might not make it back in one piece, but so far in the past four years the most destruction to the pianos has been due to rain or other inclement weather.

Visit the website to find out more about this cool, interactive, playful art project, and locations near you.