Create a City Out of Legos at Olafur Eliasson’s High Line Art Installation

Olafur Eliasson
Installation view courtesy High Line Art

Everything is awesome! Internationally renowned installation artist Olafur Eliasson is inviting passersby of the High Line to participate in his new work, The collectivity project. The task? Create your vision of an ideal city…with legos.

Open daily from 10am to 7pm until September 30, visitors are encouraged to come, build and rebuild an imaginary skyline with hundreds of white legos at their disposal. When the project opened on May 29, Eliasson collaborated with several Manhattan architectural firms to create a few structures in order to get the ball rolling; all were quickly rebuilt by participants. In a press release, the ultimate outcome of the project is illuminated,

“As the inevitable entropy of the piece begins to soften the hard edges of the designed structures, and mounds of loose pieces gather in the corners between buildings, a beautiful collective creation takes form.”

The utopian vision of the project coupled with the nostalgic materials and relational aesthetics is typical of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s work, highlights of which include 2003’s The weather project,where he turned the turbine hall of the Tate Modern into a simulated atmosphere with humidifiers, lights and mirrors.

You can participate in The collectivity project this summer on the High Line at W 30th St.


Waterfalls to Power Down

imageRemember those $15 million waterfall installations you were most likely to see if you rode an express train between Brooklyn and Manhattan? Well, the Olafur Eliasson-designed installation is up for only one more week. The Public Art Fund, which commissioned this project, will be turning off the falls next Monday. We’ll have to wait and see if the project generated the $55 million revenue that Mayor Bloomberg was hoping for, and whether that revenue offsets the damage caused to city greenery and architecture via wind-blown mists of saltwater.

New York Falls for Water

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is taking over New York. His exhibit “Take Your Time” currently spans MoMA and its edgier Queens appendage, P.S.1. His work is included in the recent Icelandic Art exhibit at the Scandinavia House. And his Spatial Vibration show Tanya Bonakdar Gallery just closed in early June.

And now he’s got these waterfalls. Don’t even pretend you haven’t heard of them. They’re 90 to 120 ft high, and there was so much fanfare in the weeks leading up to their unveiling yesterday that we wanted to be able to brush it off the way we brush off Mary-Kate sightings.

But truthfully, they’re kind of cool. Even cooler than Mike Bloomberg’s last pet project, Christo and Jean Claude’s The Gates in Central Park. The Gates never had a hydraulics designer, and there’s something about water that everyone can relate to (we are, after all, mostly composed of it). And while we probably won’t want to be caught in their spermicidal spray, it’ll make many a weekend picnicking by the East River that much more pleasant. They’ll be up through October.

The Wonderful World of Olafur Eliasson

This is a call to art for anyone who hasn’t yet checked out “Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson,” on view now at New York’s MoMA. Um, check it out now! [Said in gruff art-snobbery voice.] In addition to the exhibition, fans of Eliasson’s insane experimental art should pick up the latest Taschen art release, Studio Olafur Eliasson. An Encyclopedia (528 pages, $150). Up next for the Danish artist is the creation of four man-made waterfalls in New York Harbor. The installation is set for a fall unveiling later this year.