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Friday Fun: The RedBall Project

That looks snug! Photo by cheer Lee.

The RedBall Project is a traveling installation and a social experiment that started in 2006. Since its inception, the red ball has traveled all around the world, getting wedged in between buildings, being suspended from bridges and floating in urban parks. Kurt Perschke created the RedBall project to tap into the imagination of city dwellers, to make every day extraordinary, and to get individuals thinking about the possibilities of transforming city space.

On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. It opens a doorway to imagine what if? As RedBall travels around the world people approach me on the street with excited suggestions about where to put it in their city. In that moment the person is not a spectator but a participant in the act of imagination. I have witnessed it across continents, diverse age spans, cultures, and languages, always issuing an invitation. That invitation to engage, to collectively imagine, is the true essence of the RedBall Project. The larger arc of the project is how each city responds to that invitation and, over time, what the developing story reveals about our individual and cultural imagination.

The RedBall Project is still active and is traveling to England this summer. What this project does for public art and public space is reminiscent of the work of contemporary artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, in that the work encourages the participant to think of the space in a new way.

Do you enjoy experiencing public art? Does public art change the way you experience your city? Share with us in the comments section below.

The Gates by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Central Park, New York City. Photo by aleph78.

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