About a month ago I started teaching a middle school fashion design class at Brownsville Collegiate Prep, and (un)fortunately for me, the school is in close proximity to a dollar store. I, like many visual artists, have a special relationship with the dollar store (a.k.a "the .99 cent store"). These establishments have played foil and muse to my developing ideas, and beyond their status as the other Art Store- it's just plain fun to romp and revel in the beautiful sickness of American consumption. Anywho, I picked up some balloons one day to illustrate the relationship between colors for my students and since then I have been hooked on blow(ing up balloons). Meditative, and often accidentally heady, the repetitive nature of filling these colored orbs has made a junkie out of me. I've taken to populating our large communal WorkSpace with them, creating a sort of interactive sculpture/installation. While I am not interested filling a space container with them (a la Martin Creed) I do enjoy having a substantial number to interact with. My fellow residents seem to appreciate their presence as much as I do. The soft thump of non-violent kicks has become a sporadic soundtrack to the workday.
What is so appealing to me about the balloons, however, is their quiet nonchalance regarding our preoccupied molestations. They are equally content to be kicked around, slapped, squeezed, and slingshot-ed, as they are comfortable being ignored- left to their own random static-fueled attractions and submitting to the gentle bobbing dictated by the air filtration system.
Below are a few video experiments that investigate...
Gumrise from Kenya Robinson on Vimeo.
Maneuvers(2) from Kenya Robinson on Vimeo.
They Do Not Respond To Violence from Kenya Robinson on Vimeo.