A new public art installation has dotted Madison Square Park's icy terrain with a smattering of glass globes. Created by landscape designer and artist Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes is made up of eighteen crystalline orbs, each encasing a sort of science-fiction scene inside. Many of the vignettes are made from recycled remnants of modern technology, appearing as both a futuristic glimpse into a crystal ball, and an artistic vision of reuse. Visitors can enjoy the exhibition for free through April.
Scattered across the northwest promenade in the park, Hayes’ Gazing Globes emerge from the ground atop white opaque pedestals that, in recent weather, appear like fingers of ice, each balancing a crystal orb. Hayes, whose lush plant terrariums delighted us at the Museum of Modern Art, has gone in a different direction for the new installation. Rather than living plants, the artist has turned to another environmental element — technological refuse — to fill the spheres.
Glistening in the sun like quartz crystals filled with craft glitter, the globes are hauntingly familiar upon closer inspection. A recent technological cast-off, the music CD, has been recycling into shimmery powder, made simply by pulverizing the plastic discs. Remnants of metal machinery like gears and pumps are highly polished, looking more like trophies than utilitarian parts. The bits and bobs are arranged and treated like precious objects, preserved inside the glass globes, which act as Victorian-era belljars.
Gazing Globes, which is Hayes’ first outdoor installation, is open and free to the public until April 19, 2015. Visitors are encouraged to view them both during the day, and in the evening when each globe is illuminated from within.
Photos ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat. Check out more on our Flickr Stream!