An experimental practice that walks a line between art and architecture.Designed by Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture, the Beach was an interactive installation at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC . The project draws on what most of us imagine when we think of summer – the beach – and abstracts the natural and cultural elements of a familiar experience.
White floors, beach chairs, and an ocean of 750, 000 recyclable plastic balls fill the museum’s Great Hall in this imitation “beach,” a reduced and monochromatic oasis within the bustle of the US capital. Visitors are invited to relax and play in the man-made “water".
Aside from the inherent whimsy in a piece that welcomes viewer enjoyment, the true delight of Snarkitecture’s unique display lies in the fact that it is impossible to pin down.
Is this a performance? An instillation? What is the artwork – the indoor construction and sea of white plastic balls, or the flood of visitors frolicking with child-like wonder through an abstract landscape?
While The Beach provides an accessible experience, it also asks an unanswerable question, one that continues to drive creative innovation to this day: WHAT IS ART?
Photo credits: National Building Museum
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