At Brookfield Place, a Canadian interactive design studio, Daily tous les jour, has brought a unique cooperative experience to New York City. Music, art and interactivity converge in “The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation,” Daily tous les jour’s new art installation at the outdoor plaza in Battery Park City. The exhibit consists of ten colorful swings, hung from a white frame, that create certain melodies through the cooperation of the people on the swing.
Artist, Melissa Mongiat, one of the co-founders of Daily tous les jour, says that the idea began in Montreal, where they hung 21 Balançoires, or 21 Swings. Mongiat says that the group worked with animal behavioral scientist, Luc-Alain Giraldeau from the Université du Québec à Montréal, to explore how the musical cooperation would work. “People cooperating is important,” says Mongiat. “The point is that we can accomplish more together than alone.”
There are four instruments represented in the swings: piano, harp, guitar and vibraphone. Mongiat says that the instruments are all classical in nature and were chosen for their soft quality, which she believes works the best in public spaces.
Mongiat likes to see people enjoying her work. “It’s nice to see people’s faces when they ride the swings,” she says. The installation attracts people of all ages in every city where they have been on display, including Green Mountains Fall, West Palm Beach, and most recently, Downtown Detroit, where they were enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Elysa Marden, the senior producing director at Arts Brookfield was responsible for getting the work on display. Marden went to Colorado when The Swings were on display there. She says that the purpose of displaying The Swings at Arts Brookfield is “to activate our public spaces.” She adds that the modernist architecture of the exhibit fits the environment of Arts Brookfield, whose building and surrounding buildings exemplify modernism.
“The Swings” will be on display at Arts Brookfield from June 10 to July 7 from 12 pm to 8 pm daily, and is free to the public. The installation is currently on tour and will be making its next stop in San Jose, California. For more information, visit the Arts Brookfield website.
Next, discover the Top 10 Secrets of Battery Park and check out the new World Trade Center Transportation hub nearby.