curime batliner + jake newsum unfold spheres of influence at mextropoli festival
 

curime batliner + jake newsum unfold spheres of influence at mextropoli festival

 

for the third annual mextropoli festival, SCI-Arc faculty members curime batliner and jake newsum unveil the ‘spheres of influence’, a temporary installation displayed in the patio of laboratorio arte alameda. centrally located in mexico city, the four-day festival has brought architects, designers, urbanists, sociologists, artists and citizens together to interpret public space through art, design, and dialogue.

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
the installation is displayed at the patio of laboratorio arte alameda

 

 

sponsored by Sci-Arc, batliner and newsum’s project uses a robotic system from staubli to paint layers of graphics abstracting the city onto a series of human-scale spheres. the placement of those inflatable pieces along the plateaus of the museum’s patio define the flow of visitors between the park, the public space and the adjacent museum — which is a semi-private space. ‘this change in the flow of people, and how they moved through that space, was an analogy of public space in itself,’ batliner says.

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
layers of graphics abstracting the city are painted unto the spheres

 

 

within a translucent sphere, an industrial robot is placed at the center for entertainment and distraction. as batliner explains, ‘very much how our cell phones change the way we navigate and entertain ourselves in the public space, the robot — a device with high attention value — influenced and changed the way people navigate. some people stopped in amazement, curiosity, skepticism, or to ask questions; while others did not bother at all but had to move around the people already standing there’. 

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
the project explores the impact of technology on public spaces

stretching from parque alameda to bosque de chapultepec, the spherical paintings have shown lifelines of the city, most importantly insurgentes and paseo reforma. those dynamic patterns and delivery are designed as an allegory of how technology transforms public space, and how citizens navigate in cities differently throughout the years.‘the spheres were painted throughout the festival, supporting the notion of a constant state of flux’, newsum explains. ‘just like this metropolis grows and changes, the installation also should never finish’. at night, the backlit spheres project the freshly painted graphics of the city back onto the surrounding historic architecture — enhancing the cultural and urban contexts of the site.

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
the composition and cluster creates a shimmering effect under the sunlight

 

 

batliner and newsum’s installation during the mextropli festival affords an opportunity to talk about the entanglement of cities and technology with children, parents, tourists, and local residents. ‘mexico has lots of high-brow museums that do not always provide access to everyone in the city, and the same can be said of the US; if it is part of our culture it should be part of the art world and, consequently, be accessible to the public. having this installation adjacent to one of the most popular parks in this massive city was fantastic,’ batliner muses. ‘many of the visitors we talked with expressed a lot of gratitude that they had access to this form of dialog and presentation of an idea’.  

spheres of influence 
video © curime batliner

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
an industrial robot is placed at the center for entertainment and distraction


visitors are either intrigued and skeptical, or just walk past the installation

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
visitor thoroughly studying the sphere in motion

curime batliner and jake newsum spheres of influence mextropoli designboom
center shoot of the ‘spheres of influence’

 

 

project info:

design and production: curime batliner & jake newsum
sponsors: southern california institute of architecture  (SCI-Arc) with the support of staubli

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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