I’m really surprised that I haven’t come across this project before– The Redball Project is an enormous, traveling public sculpture that is hard to miss, featuring (surprise!) a big, red ball that has been housed in cities all around the world. NYC-based artist Kurt Perschke starts by imagining the red ball as a part of different cityscapes, and then inflates the real ball into unexpected locations.
The inflatable ball molds itself into the surrounding architecture, creating the illusion that it has been jammed into small alleyways or used to hold up a bridge’s arch. The response of locals is also just as interesting– Perschke also records how people interact with the big red ball, as their emotions go from confusion to tentative curiosity to wonderment to joy.
So far, the Redball has been in Norwich, Taipei, Grand Rapids, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, Sydney, Barcelona, Scottsdale, St. Louis, and most recently, Abu Dhabi. I’ve included a lovely video of the Redball in Taipei below, but check out more videos here. From Perschke’s website:
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.
RedBall : Taipei from Kurt Perschke on Vimeo.
The photos are from The Redball Project’s Facebook Page, and so many of them are photo submissions for people who have stumbled across the sculpture randomly. It may not be art in the conventional sense, but this is definitely a conversation-starter that has worked wonderfully all over the world.