Client: Touring Kit
Location: Mountain Falls, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $312,776
Daily tous les jours
Daily tous les jours
Inspired by the popular 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) installation, The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation is a standalone musical installation available for international touring. The interactive installation consists of a series of musical swings. When used all together, the swings compose a musical piece in which certain melodies emerge only through cooperation. It’s a game where from the start you need to adjust to the actions of others.
The installation offers a fresh look at the idea of cooperation, the notion that we can achieve more together than separately. 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) is a musical installation from which certain melodies emerge only through cooperation between players, thus stimulating a sense of community and ownership of space.
Previous installations of The Swings have shown that they bring out people’s instinct to play. Those instincts trump the learned behaviors that create distance between people, and between people and their urban environment. By creating a sense of place for the communities surrounding them as well as a feeling of ownership, The Swings transform any space into ‘places’ where people want to be.
Ultimately, the project stimulates ownership of the public space, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, and creating a place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city centre.
The project was first-initiated in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles, a site neighbouring a science faculty and Montreal’s opera house. We worked the interaction scenario with both a scientist from the faculty, Luc-Alain Giraldeau, biology professor and expert on cooperation amongst animals, and a local musician, Radwan Ghazi-Moumneh. Together we explored the concept of cooperation: ”Cooperation emerges when the behaviour of each individual depends on the decisions of the rest of the group: it’s a game where, from the start, you need to adjust to the actions of others.”When in motion, each swing triggers different notes, and when used all together, the swings create a musical composition in which certain melodies emerge only through cooperation. This collaborative exercise stimulates intuitive play and experimentation amongst people of all ages and backgrounds, whether they know each other or not, and leads participants and spectators to become aware of each other, and their environment.
The result is a giant collective instrument that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds. The project offers a new experience in collective music making, available to enliven urban spaces, festivals, special events, and more. Since 2011, the original 21 Swings installation has attracted millions of fans to the Quartier des spectacles area in Montréal, where every day each swing has swung an average of 8,500 times.