Feeling weighted down and stuck, wrapped up in a pile of stuff, I felt a great urge to start fresh, to shed an old identity, and to carve an opening for something new to enter. If all of my attachments and fears could be bound up into one giant ball and then rolled out into the world, I would have no choice but to both let go and follow. It would be a figurative cutting of the umbilicus, allowing me to extend out of my insular and safe womb and into the world.
As I began to roll up objects into the ball, I had to confront and examine what exactly I was holding on to. Each object seemed to stand in for something; a memory, something lost, or something desired. It made transparent what my relationship was with the material world and how my interactions with others are affected by objects. I began to examine and criticize their use for power and status, and refocus on how they could be used to create connections.
When replacing these attachments with a desire to connect with others by giving or sharing these items and materials, a feeling of letting go and a redefinition of value occurred. It forced me to let go of old ideals, fantasies, and crutches. I envisioned that letting these things go would allow me the freedom to move easier and the space to add new… and I started to wonder: How can we re-imagine our interactions with each other and redirect our energies to be more authentic and meaningful? What would happen if we all start trying to let go?
I began inviting friends and family to let go of something meaningful into the ball, and listened to the stories of their objects, attachments, and fears. As individuals and groups add and secure their items to the ball, it grows larger and richer, containing the stories of things moved past. The blog and project is an interface for connections through a collaborative art-making process, constantly evolving with each contribution, interaction, and movement. The project hopes to defy the “art as elite and precious” notion by living outside the traditional gallery and museum, engaging with “artist” and “non-artist” alike, rolling down the street in public space with disregard to final product, process, and materials.
The ball will end up back in Union Square, Somerville. Over a 2 day art-making event to be joined by participants, community members, and all others interested, the contents of the ball will be re-imagined. The ball will be disassembled, and the objects, materials, paintings, drawings, fabric, rope, and wire will be spread out, and become raw material for new creations. Papers can be made into sculptures, rope into installations, canvases into swings... etc. There will be a free exchange of materials, ideas, and intellectual space for reconsidering value, connection, and attachment.