A proposal for “Art on the Atlanta Beltline.” Patrick Di Rito, Ky Le, James Murray, Shota Vashakmadze.
A chair. A place of repose. A place to read. To sit. To take comfort. A place to rest. To repose. To relax. To think. To meditate. To ponder. To consider.
A bench. [Similar to a chair except that it allows for multiple users.] A place to nap. A place to converse. To interact. Public space. Shared space.
Atlanta. The paranoia of the homeless dictates. To provide a bench to the public is to aid public menace number one.
Barcelona. A city where design dictates. Design competitions are created specifically to design a new bench. Famous architects have aided to the cities variations.
I tread on the soft ground. The earth beneath is soft from the last rainfall. Small rocks and pebbles are embedded in the ground. The old rail ties have been ripped up. The tracks are long gone. Salvaged by the rail yards no doubt. I keep my eyes to the ground. I try to imagine the old rail cars passing through this abandoned scar. The remnants of a forgotten space. I look up. There is an underpass up ahead. It is covered with spray paint. Tags and Throw-ups, not the burners or pieces I was hoping for; endeavors of a more artistic nature, not the simple act of vandalization.
I keep going. I think of The High Line in New York. The proliferation of benches and verdant green landscapes. I don’t mind the grunge though it reminds me of Barcelona. The narrow dirty alleyways, the larger open Ramblas. And the people. Everywhere is a destination. Everywhere is an environment worth existing in, exploring, discovering. I am not trapped in a transportation corridor, moving desperately from one park to the next, sidestepping the homeless. I am engaging the environment, the excitement, the people.
To walk down the Rambla Reval in Barcelona is to assume that it has always been there. An old Roman footpath preserved through the centuries. It is not. It is decidedly new and decidedly old. It ripped out the old buildings and built a new Ramblas, but it respected the old fabric and built in the new.
A single chair. Seven chairs. The chance to create a momentary pause. A destination. An environment worth existing in. Worth exploring. To see the chair is to think it has always been there. Always existed. But it has not. It was put in just the other week. It engages the existing environment. The plants grow around it. On top of it. The chair does not mind though. It knows its place. It has its function.
The people have always been there. The chair has always wanted to be there. The series of chairs provoke interaction. A community forms.
We propose to construct seven chairs out of steel. The chairs will operate as a machine for overgrowth. Plants will act as graffiti. The chairs and the wall will operate as an open canvas, inviting artists to take part in the layering.
[ architecture, art, Beltline, Chair, community, design in action, Installation ]