In response to Yonge + St.Clair BIA’s Call for Artists entry for Earth Month Temporary Public Art Installation, “Equilibrium” is a winning proposal that encompasses key values – animating a commercial lobby, engaging the public in raising awareness of sustainability, and using salvaged materials in a creative way. Located at 2 St.Clair Ave West, Toronto, the installation is on display for six weeks, during Earth Month and afterward, serving a temporary landmark, re-energizing street life in the neighbourhood.
Exploring the idea of Earth in equilibrium, the installation is comprised of clusters of linear elements, tied together by invisible fishing line to create a network of mobiles, suspended in space, interwoven and counterbalanced. As the mobiles move due to any air movements, they create a new pattern, shifting the relationship between them, while remaining in balance.
Inspired by Theory of Complexity and Punctuated Equilibrium in evolutionary biology, the intent was to create a system of networks that behave as a holistic organism, responding to outside forces – changing and adapting, while maintaining its integrity. Having two different kinds of material for the individual pieces adds to the complexity, without overwhelming the viewer with chaos.
Wooden dowels and clear plastic tubes symbolize the natural and the artificial, their inevitable connection and dependency on each other. Salvaged from previous art shows, the pieces range from 1 to 4 feet, connected at different points along their lengths. After being part of “Equilibrium”, the dowels and the tubes will find their way into other projects, since both are completely reusable and recyclable.
There is no single algorithm to piece connection, just like in nature there is no single formula that lifeform follows – the overall creation is quite sculptural. Inspired by fractals, the “natural” beauty of the installation emerges out of a precise and diligent procedure. The public can view the floating sculpture from all sides of the lobby; 7.5-foot clearance left underneath for the observer to fully immerse themselves into the experience of complexity from below.
The total height of the installation is just over 15 feet, weighing less than 30lbs. In celebration of Earth Month, “Equilibrium” brings attention to the richness, diversity, and complexity of life on our planet. While being intricate, delicate and fragile, the installation is also conveying a sense of hope – that even though the Earth’s balance can be easily offset, life’s inherent resilience will find its way to a harmony.