Rainbow City is a 40-piece environmental installation addressing the potency of interaction, ritual, and play. Inspired by Holi, a festival effectuated by Hindu followers throwing brightly colored water and powder at each other, FriendsWithYou presents a vibrant collection of mutable, air-filled sculptures. Fabricated of intensely colored and receptive materials, the installation encourages visitors to be active and explore – subsequently, inventing their own ritual. The individual structures are simple, minimal forms, borrowing aesthetics from toy-like geometry and design, which tower over guests, as each element’s height ranges from ten to forty feet. By dwarfing the audience, the totemic pieces trigger a sense of reverence, similar to the visual objective of a monolithic monument. During interaction, the inflated sculptures “embrace” visitors, while repetitive sound elements further enhance the sensory experience. The overall installation creates a surreal landscape of psychedelic scenery intended to provoke a religious and childlike awareness, simultaneously. Rainbow City invites spectators to participate with a responsive environment, offering an opportunity to connect physically and psychologically with an energetic, yet ephemeral, setting.
Shown in Canada, Florida, New York, Michigan, and Louisiana, “Rainbow City” was first commissioned by the Luminato Arts Festival in Toronto, and subsequently shown in New York City at the High Line Park, during Art Basel Miami Beach in the Design District (featuring a performance by N.E.R.D.), a modified version to create a public Roller Rink in Detroit, and most recently in Shreveport, Louisiana, via a National Endowment for the Arts Grant.
Toronto, Ontario Canada: June 15 – June 20, 2010
Art Basel Miami Beach: December 2010
New York City @ The High Line: June 8 – July 5, 2011
Rainbow City Roller Rink, Detroit, Michigan: November 30, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Shreveport, Louisiana: November 2 – December 8, 2019