This month, a guerrilla art installation consisting of 1,500 gold balls appeared in an abandoned structure in Fort Tilden National Park in Queens. The work, Have a Ball is a site-specific temporary installation by artist Aaron Asis that is deliberately reminiscent of a recent work at Fort Tilden but created as a counter-statement intended to embrace the power of art to encourage accidental discovery, unlike a commissioned piece or curated experience. The work also highlights the unconventional character of abandoned structures — rather than reducing abandonment to something of an artistic backdrop.
A New York City native, Asis is known for his spatial installations and urban interventions here and around the country, along with his underlying curiosity in city exploration. His previous works have included an installation at Green-Wood Cemetery, where hundreds of fuchsia parachute cords criss -crossed the interior of the chapel, the Amtrak Freedom Tunnel, underneath Riverside Park, where six miles of rusted cords were suspended into the underground, as well as work on the play Glory Be Columbia, and ongoing work with artist Mary Miss.
The title Have a Ball, both literally and figuratively suggests unrestricted interaction with art. The gold color provides a color compliment to the abandoned overgrowth. Asis tells Untapped Cities that “Have a Ball is a reaction to formalized treatments in an unformalized settings. Our relationships with alternative spaces doesn’t need to be limited to an acceptance of curated experiences.” The artist chose an abandoned setting because such spaces are “inherently uncontrollable. They are rich in unintentional life, texture, and history that combine to create tranquil and unique spatial environments. There is free-spirit buried within the soul of forgotten space which is lost when it is controlled. The unrestricted soul of these spaces celebrate curiosity and reward exploration and discovery….so please look, touch, and Have a Ball!!”