Meeting Bowls

Veronica Cuesta Visual Arts 0 Comments

The Cultural Center of Spain in Miami (CCEMiami) in collaboration with Miami Design District, Arlington Cultural Affairs, Arlington, Virginia and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E); present the Meeting Bowls open to the public from November 30th 2017. This innovative public art installation created by the group mmmm… will be located in Miami Design District, Jade Alley (Paseo Ponti between 40th & 41 Streets).

Eva Salmerón, co-founder of the Spanish group mmmm…. and one of the artists behind the project Meeting Bowls will be in an Artist Talk on December 5th at 7pm at CCEMiami (1490 Biscayne Blvd, Miami FL 33132). There is free admission.

On a typical linear park bench, you could sit beside someone for hours without saying a word. However, the semi-spherical Meeting Bowls, which each stand 5 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter, contain a continuous seating ring inside that encourages dialogue and interaction. The Meeting Bowls gently rock as people enter and exit: a relaxing motion much like a swing.

Designed to help us reimaging how we gather and interact in public places, the Meeting Bowls made their U.S. premiere at New York City’s Time’s Square in 2011 in a two-month long installation. This year they are coming to Arlington, Virginia through November 1st, previous to the opening at Miami Design District of two blue Meeting Bowls.

Rather than ship completed Meeting Bowls from Spain, mmmm… collective uses computer-aided manufacturing. Digital files of the over 75 parts are emailed to a regional fabricator and made locally. Notably, for this latest iteration, the Meeting Bowls are composed of a new type of colorful and waterproof, medium-density fiberboard (or MDF), rather than standard grey MDF as was the case with earlier versions.

The presentation of the Meeting Bowls in Miami Design District is made possible through a grant from Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), an agency that orchestrates public support for the promotion of culture, both in Spain and overseas and the support of CCEMiami. Its aims include promoting Spain’s rich and plural artistic legacy and fostering the internationalization of its most contemporary creative and culture sector. From historic works to new creations, AC/E strives to give prominence to culture as an essential component of a country’s reality and image, projecting it both within and outside Spain.

mmmm… is a collaboration by Emilio Alarcón, Alberto Alarcón, Ciro Márquez and Eva Salmerón, who have been creating projects for public space since 1998. Based in Madrid, Spain, recent projects include: a life-size car built of brick in a public parking space; organizing 100 couples kissing simultaneously in the city center; and music performed by an orchestra in scattered locations so that the music would be experienced differently by pedestrians depending on which instrument they encounter and when. In 2014, mmmm… created a permanent public art project in Baltimore consisting of three large sculptures that form the letters BUS. The size, shape, and function of BUS, make this unique bus stop a reference sculpture for the city of Baltimore where BUS has become an iconic urban meeting point.

Arlington Cultural Affairs, Arlington, Virginia the presenting arm of Arlington Cultural Affairs Division, is charged with fostering a creative environment that encourages collaboration, innovation and community participation. We do this:  by providing material support to artists, and arts organizations, in the form of grants, facilities and theater technology; through a commitment to integrating award-winning public art into our built environment, and; with high quality performing, literary, visual and new media programs across the County.

CCEMiami is a Non-profit organization whose mission is to utilize the arts and humanities to enrich the quality of life in South Florida through the exchange of culture, projects, and international exchange, and to make the arts accessible to all residents. It promotes the diversity of the Spanish and Latin American culture in Miami, creating dialogue by partnering with local artists, creatives and organizations.

The Miami Design District is a neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, architecture and dining experiences. The Miami Design District is owned by Miami Design District Associates, a partnership between Dacra Development, founded and owned by visionary entrepreneur Craig Robins, and L Real Estate, a global real-estate development and investment fund, specializing in creating luxury shopping destinations. Together, Dacra and L Real Estate have actively transformed the once-overlooked area of Miami into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors by presenting the best shopping, cultural and culinary experiences within an architecturally significant context.

*Photo credit:  Yassine El Mansouri for Arlington Cultural Affairs

 

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