I Dream of Caves

 

 

Re-Ball Competition Entry

Washington DC, 2016

 

Stefanos Ziras

 

 


Books like Journey to the center of the earth have been exciting our imaginations for decades, describing fantastical scenes of underground worlds, adventures and unique experiences that we all would like to have as kids and even as adults. 
This installation is an attempt to create such a scene in the center of Washington D.C just a few feet below ground level. 
Taking inspiration from natural formations seen in caves the installation embraces the unique nature of the site in the DuPont underground. 
Thousands of the translucent, soft balls, which are the star of the show, are strung and hung from the ceiling of the underground passage creating shapes reminiscent of stalactites which are constantly swinging and moving ever so slightly. This movement is caused by the wind coming from the entrances or the people themselves who are coming in contact with the installation.  
Colored lights positioned on the walls of the passage and behind the vertically hanging balls enhance the otherworldly feel of the space, the light is diffused by the translucent balls and scattered in unexpected ways around the walls, floor and the installation itself. It is not just a passage way, it is a place to sit, rest, play and relax before you return to the ground level.
A sound system hidden behind the installation will further enhance the experience offered to the visitors by capturing the sounds they produce and playing them back altered as if they were in a cave. 
The people that are brave enough to stray from the main installation area will be rewarded by discovering hidden swings and seats which they can safely use since they are safely attached to the ceiling with steel wires and covered with hundreds of soft balls.
Although the proposed installation does not use the entire number of available balls or the entirety of the site, it is designed in such a way that it can be easily expanded with minimal extra cost.