Beat Feet - CODAworx

Beat Feet

Submitted by Matt Babcock

Client: Clark County Public Arts Office

Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $68,999

Project Team


Matt Babcock

Babcock Artworks LLC

project manager

Mickey Sprott

Clark County


Interactive musical artwork designed for inclusive group play in a park next door to an elementary school in Las Vegas. The artwork represents a native kangaroo rat and its predator, a rattlesnake. Handicapped accessible. Mounted on a boulder from a local quarry.

The rat sculpture is a plosive aerophone: a musical instrument played by striking the open ends of tubes. The snake tail rattle is filled with BBs so it sounds like a rattlesnake.

“Beat Feet” refers to 3 things:
– It’s an idiomatic expression for “run away.” The sculpture shows the kangaroo rat leaping from the boulder as if escaping from a predator.
– Kangaroo rats don’t hide when they hear a snake nearby. Instead, they drum their huge feet against the ground to let the snake know that it has lost the element of surprise. Often the snake will leave in search of prey that is easier to sneak up on.
– The sounding elements of the sculpture include the rat’s feet. “Beat Feet” in this case means “whack my toes.”

The park includes educational signage about various desert flora and fauna. In keeping with this effort, I provided a graffiti-resistant plaque with information about kangaroo rats as well as suggestions for how to make sounds with the artwork.


The call was for interactive outdoor artwork. The piece is located in a park playground adjacent to an elementary school, so appeal to kids was an important criterion. Many of the kids in the area are not native English speakers, so I created a piece that allows for group play regardless of language and culture.


I responded to Clark County's RFQ and was selected as one of 3 finalists to present proposals. Per the County's RFP, my original design included a concrete pedestal. Once my proposal was accepted, the County requested that we use a boulder instead of concrete, so I modified the design accordingly, selected a boulder, and gave direction for cutting it. I fabricated the artwork, oversaw application of finishes, coordinated delivery, and installed the artwork.

Additional Information

aluminum, stainless steel, thermoplastic coating, nylon, and quartzite completed 2023 70"H x 95"W x 52"D