Viridian Note 00170: Snowballs In Summer

Bruce Sterling []


Key concepts: performance art, site-specific sculpture,
embracing decay, summer, weather, live web events, the godlike genius of Andy Goldsworthy

Attention Conservation Notice: It's every bit as exciting as watching snow melt!

Links: Viridian Notes 00033, 00034, 00035 Snow Cam!

(((Andy Goldsworthy, a major British artist whom we Viridians adore, is putting on a live webcam event right now in downtown London! Amazed civilians are watching giant snowballs melt in their public streets!)))


    "In a move which exposes a major art project at the Barbican Centre to an immediate world wide audience, online art innovators eyestorm will be broadcasting Andy Goldsworthy's Snowballs in Summer live on the world wide web.

    "Visitors can watch three of the thirteen giant snowballs from pre-millennium Scotland melt away on a midsummer's day in the city of London and the reactions of passers-by as wood, stone, berries, Highland cow hair and chalk are slowly exposed when the snow melts in the heat of the city.


    "'Snowballs in Summer' occurs on 21 June: Midsummer's Day. Thirteen giant snowballs will be placed on the streets of London, left to melt in the heat of the longest day. As they disappear they will leave behind the materials that Andy Goldsworthy packed into the snow sculptures: sheep's wool, crow feathers, chestnut seeds, ash seeds, Scots pine cones, elderberries, barley, metal, barbed wire, branches, chalk, pebbles and highland cow hair.

    "Goldsworthy has chosen some very public locations for the snowballs near Barbican and Moorgate underground stations; these will confront thousands of workers on their way to the City. Other snowballs will be hidden in locations to be discovered by chance. (((Wow!))) Some of the materials within the snowballs will resonate with their locations: for example the ones which contain Highland cow hair and sheep's wool will be sited near Smithfield Market, drawing a relationship between the place of the snowballs' construction == near Goldsworthy's home in Scotland == and the oldest meat market in London.

    "The project is time-based, with the snowballs expected to take between three and five days to melt. Another important factor in the work is the interaction with the public, as surprised Londoners encounter the frozen sculptures. You can see the melting snowballs live on the web."

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