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.
Since 2003, artist Sheryl Oring has toured her project, I Wish to Say in over 80 cities throughout the United States. Oring began her project during the George W. Bush administration to give ordinary American citizens the opportunity to share their thoughts on the current administration and state-of-affairs. The public art performance piece includes a pool of typists who use vintage manual typewriters to transcribe messages dictated by the public.
Artist Sheryl Oring prepares to photograph a participant.
Typist Christiane Leach transcribes a dictation.
Typist Catherine Greninger focuses on typing.
Typist Zach Cole.
Sheryl Oring's assistant Robert Rose stamps a letter.
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership president and CEO Jeremy Waldrup reading letters from participants in Market Square.
A young participant being interviewed.
Artist Sheryl Oring reading letters to the president.
Typist Madalyn Hochendoner.
March 17 - April 30, 2016 After seeing Market Square from a bird's-eye view, Dutch artist Allard van Hoorn decided that he wanted to turn Market Square into a record player for the 2016 Market Square Public Art installation. Inspired by Aboriginal songlines, van Hoorn's work riffs off of this idea by incorporating the use of sound to explore and interpret modern urban landscapes. To include this particular aspect in to the installation, van Hoorn composed several tracks of music from the sounds created by seven Pittsburgh community groups.
In October of 2015, van Hoorn met with student-poets from the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School (CAPA), tap dancers from Point Park University, steel drum players from Urban Pathways Charter School, members of the Downtown Clean Team, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Hazelwood, the organist from the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Project Silk.
Image from the Kid City Rockers dance party in Market Square. Photograph by Kahmeela Friedson.
A performance by tap dancers from Point Park University at the opening of Mix-N-Match. Photograph by Kahmeela Friedson.
Urban Pathways Charter School students play steel drums in Market Square. Photograph by Kahmeela Friedson.
The Clean Team performing for Mix-N-Match. Photograph by Kahmeela Friedson.
Organist Cynthia Pock at the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church. Photograph by Allard van Hoorn.
The innards of the spindle. Photograph by Allard van Hoorn.
A participant listening to the work's tracks. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
Mix-N-Match at night. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
Artist Allard van Hoorn speaking with participants at the work's opening. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
Arthur Murray Dance Center of Pittsburgh hosting a public dance class in Market Square. Photograph by the Office of Public Art.
"A Winter Landscape Cradling Bits of Sparkle"
February 19 - May 3, 2015
Artist Jennifer Wen Ma created a small forest set against the backdrop of Downtown Pittsburgh. This winter landscape consisted of a variety of trees such as weeping willows, evergreens, flowering fruit trees, and bamboos. The trees were painted black with Chinese ink, creating a stark, and almost desolate landscape. The trees evolved over the course of the exhibition, tracking the change of seasons. Over time, the blooms and blossoms announced the arrival of spring.
A wooden path built among the trees created an opportunity to walk through, explore, and experience the landscape.
The designed path for the artwork. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
Artist Jennifer Wen Ma cuts the ribbon to open her work with help from Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
One of the work's several glass orbs. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
(L to R): Former City of Pittsburgh Public Art Manager Morton Brown, Mayor Bill Peduto, artist Jennifer Wen Ma, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership President & CEO Jeremy Waldrup, and former Office of Public Art Director Renee Piechocki. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
A view inside of the work. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
Artist Jennifer Wen Ma leading Mayor Bill Peduto on a tour of her artwork. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
Jennifer Wen Ma's work in Market Square. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
A glass orb deep within the work. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
The path for participants to walk through the installation. Photograph by Renee Rosensteel.
The trees in bloom. Photograph by the Office of Public Art.
Congregation is an interactive kinetic video and sound installation designed and choreographed for pedestrian performers, created by UK-based media artists KMA – Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler.
Congregation transformed Market Square into an interactive stage. 10,000 people participated in the artwork. The audience became performers, exploring the environment as the installation responded to their movements. By transforming public spaces into temporary theatrical arenas, Congregation explored the seemingly innate human need to participate in - and draw meaning from - ritual gatherings. The music for Congregation is by the contemporary composer, Peter Broderick.
The artwork was originally commissioned by SCAN in partnership with The British Council. The Market Square installation marked the project’s North American debut, and was the inaugural project of the Market Square Public Art Program, presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the City of Pittsburgh, with production support by the Office of Public Art and Flyspace Productions.
The public enjoying Congregation in Market Square.
Children playing with the movement of the work.
Children enjoying Congregation.
Something above has caught the attention of the adults.
A young participant relaxes.
A large group ready to experience the work.
Participants enjoying Market Square in the evening.
Weekend of Public Art
March 22-24, 2013
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership presented a weekend of performative public art in Downtown Pittsburgh. The Zany Umbrella Circus performed in Market Square, and the Sisters of the Lattice hosted a film screening and ceremony in a parking lot on Liberty Avenue.
For this Weekend of Public Art in 2013, the Zany Umbrella Circus returned to Pittsburgh to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Throughout the weekend, Zany Umbrella Circus performed their work Cake, exhibited a retrospective of their performances inside of a bus museum, and offered circus workshops.
In the parking lot on Liberty Avenue, Sisters of the Lattice organized HOTSPOT as a form of group meditation.Ten selected participants sat for the meditative ceremony in a personal steam sauna, while members of the public were invited to view the group meditation and Sisters of the Lattice's 80 minute film.