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Flat Balloons and Takayama’s Dog Project

July 21, 2010

I’ve always had this dream of creating an art installation in a public space, specifically using recycled materials. I wanted to show the versatility and durability of many of the things we throw away, like newspaper or cardboard. This dream nearly became a reality when I attempted to make 1,000 origami balloons out of newspaper, and planned to place them in random spots all over New York City.

Unfortunately, making 1,000 origami balloons takes a really long time, and I was never able to complete this project. Nonetheless, see the video below that I made to show people how to create their own origami balloon (please note that the blog URL in the end credits is now defunct).

As seen on the fantastic DudeCraft blog, the artist Akane Takayama had a similar dream. Merging art education with art installation, she recruited local students to make 1,000 recycled cardboard dogs, then place them in various London parks. The students are then able to take them home, and are encouraged to photograph their new “pets” in their new environment.

Sounds weird?

I think it’s an awesome way of teaching the universal nature of art; that it doesn’t need to exist within a gallery space or in some affluent person’s home. It also shows the room for creativity lying within things we quickly discard.

What would you think if you saw these dogs? Would the materials used still be seen in the same context of unusable trash? How does the change in shape alter the purpose of these materials?

Seeing this, I just may do my origami balloon project after all ;)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2010 10:26 pm

    Hi David,
    I am the artist for DOG sculpture 2010. Yes all those DOGs, it has been a lot of hard work.
    It has taken me 3 years from “thinking about it ” to “Realizing it” I hope your 1000 baloon
    project will get going too.

    • David M. permalink*
      July 23, 2010 12:05 pm

      Hi Akane,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it!

      It certainly looks like all your hard work paid off. Congratulations for creating such a fantastic project. You definitely have given me inspiration to resume my balloon project!

      – David

  2. July 23, 2010 6:44 pm

    Hi David! Thanks for discovering and blogging about this project – it is so inspiring! I’ll be posting a link about it on my blog as well – hope you don’t mind :) I really do hope you get your balloon project going – NYC needs a bit of whimsy!

    • David M. permalink*
      July 25, 2010 12:18 pm

      Hi Melanie!

      Thank you for your comment! Of course I don’t mind you sharing this wonderful work :) I think it’s absolutely fantastic, and I’m seriously thinking of resuming my balloon project. We’ll see what happens! :)

      – David

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