Other Side of the World by internationally renowned Ball-Nogues Studio from Los Angeles, California, is an abstract representation of Amsterdam Island, the most distant, nearly-opposite landmass from Pittsburgh.
Located in the South Indian Ocean, Amsterdam Island, also known as Île Amsterdam in French, is one of the most remote places on the planet. Positioned between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia, the island is part of a rich ecoregion, and boasts several endemic species such as the Amsterdam albatross. The landscape itself reveals an extinct volcano, craters, and vents amid the island’s coastal cliffs, grasslands, and mostly undisturbed shores.
Discovered by the Spanish in 1522, explored by the Dutch, and claimed by the French in 1843, Amsterdam Island is now inhabited by only 25 French climate scientists. The island is an ecological haven where researchers can monitor CO2 concentration levels, study the impact of atmospheric contaminants, and observe the unique flora and fauna.
By creating Other Side of the World for Market Square, Ball-Nogues Studio brings an unreachable locale to Pittsburgh. Comprised of a modular timber substructure, coated with desiccated rubber from recycled tires, and finished with a gradient of brightly colored rubber granules, Other Side of the World becomes a playful, vibrant, and physically accessible version of Amsterdam Island that invites participants into a warm and immersive experience.
Moreover, the artwork encourages viewers to think outside of the box and reflect on the world’s vast geography, and consider the histories and stories of relatively unknown places like Amsterdam Island. The fantastical elements of Other Side of the World endeavor to spark curiosity, imagination, and new perspectives among Pittsburghers.
To learn more about upcoming events and complementary programming, please check the events section of this site. To learn more about Ball-Nogues Studio please visit: ball-nogues.com. Follow Ball-Nogues Studio on Instagram @ball_nogues_studio and use the hashtag #amsterdamisland.
'Other Side of the World' is presented by the City of Pittsburgh. It was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership with technical assistance and support from the Office of Public Art, and in partnership with the Public Art and Civic Design Division of the City of Pittsburgh. Additional technical assistance was provided by Flyspace Productions and Desmone Architects. Printed materials and signage designed by Little Kelpie.
Above photographs by Renee Rosensteel.