On August 17, 2016 dog & pony dc was the featured artist at National Building Museum’s ICEBERGS Late Night. We hosted three “ARTctic Adventures” (30-min workshops) and eight “ARTctic Activities” (participatory exhibits) that invited ICEBERGS guests to interact with the installation in unexpected perspectives and in imaginative ways. It was a cool event! Here’s a peak inside some of flip the berg at ICEBERGS….
SOUNDS OF THE ICEBERG: Tosi Olofulabi, aka Dr. DJ, prepared a website for flip the berg guests to observe the architecture of ICEBERGS while taking in three different aural experiences: actual sounds of icebergs, music composed by DJ Spooky exploring human’s “relationship with the vanishing environment of the arctic poles,” and sounds of trash compactors. You can still visit the website and reflect on how aural environments impact our experience of built environments.
Tosi also managed a foley sound effects station stocked with a seemingly random array of items (Styrofoam boxes, tin foil, Pop-Rocks candy) for people to imagine, create, and record sounds of icebergs. She told dog & pony dc: “It was very exciting when one boy mentioned that icebergs make high pitched squeals. I don’t know if he got it from the listening station or if he already knew that, but he was the only person to mention an accurate, unique iceberg sound.”
POET’S CORNER: Thembi Duncan and Kala Granger appeared as poets Lola and Fro Yo for flip the berg. The two spent the evening in intimate conversations with guests, discussing perceptions of and reactions to ICEBERGS and then creating poems through words and gestural storytelling. “Some people wanted me to do all the writing,” reported Thembi (Lola), “and others were excited to support and contribute to the text.” “My favorite quotes came from kids,” Kala (Fro Yo) shared, “like building a snowman on an iceberg, or acting like I’m ridiculous for suggesting we name an iceberg. ‘No!’ [one 3 or 4 year old responded] ‘it’s just an iceberg! no name!’ and then rolled his eyes.”
This is one of Lola’s poems that she wrote with a guest named Erin:
Erin is from Florida
Where no known bergs exist.
She’s traveled here with Tyler
To fulfill a lifetime wish.
They want to see the culture
That D.C. has to offer.
They’ve joined Ms. Lola here,
Who has a poem to proffer:
Icebergs are cold,
Icebergs are true.
Icebergs are melting
Into the ocean blue.
Can we save the icebergs?
Do we even care?
Will we do something?
Or will we despair?
OBSERVATION STATION: Guests collected data on how they saw other guests interacting with ICEBERGS at the Observation Station with Dr. See (played by our impeccable-to-perceive Aaron Mosby). While some flip the berg guests observed “fish walkways,” “wobbles,” and “Marie Jose drop her pen cap 3 floors,” the more commonly noted interactions throughout the event are reflected in this pie chart. Mmmm. Pie.
ASK A POLAR BEAR: What would a night out on an iceberg be without a polar bear? Luckily, the dogs and ponies knew Steve, and Steve was the belle of the ball.
“My most prominent memory is of the two toddlers (I would guess they were maybe 2?) twin sister and brother who followed me around all night. They squealed in delight at anything Steve did. “Sooo many people wanted selfies with Steve,” said Jon Reynolds, who was the man in costume at flip the berg. Slightly in confidence, Jon also shared: “Over and over again several different women asked ‘Are you single/are you here with a date/is there a lady polar bear in your life?’”
Sorry to disappoint, but Steve’s into bears.
There’s still time to chill out in the ICEBERGS installation with our friends at the National Building Museum.
July 2, 2016 – September 5, 2016
Visit ICEBERGS in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the installation is part of the annual Summer Block Party series, July 2 – September 5.
featured image photo credit: Chelsey Christensen