Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Bouncy Castles = Spiritual Envoys: FriendsWithYou Q&A Out Today in National Post

Can cuteness be a potent creative force? Miami art duo FriendsWithYou — famed for rainbow-plastered playgrounds, parades, toys and animations — certainly thinks so. This week, Friends’ largest-ever project invades the Ontario Legislature grounds with 12-metre-high blimps, massive mushroom totems and grown-up-size bouncy castles. You can find out more about the project's surprising spiritual groundings in my Q&A in today's National Post. An excerpt:

Q: Your art is almost unrelentingly fun. Why?
A: Our installations revolve around the idea that the moment of exuberant, interactive play can generate a sense of euphoria. We’re trying to create instances where art is a higher spiritual ground. We even mimic some of the same things you get going to church — a physically controlled environment, special music and so on. It’s about making people have one of those everlasting super experiences that mark you forever.

Q: Can you really compare your amusement-park installations to churches? They’re pretty far removed from a traditional religious atmosphere.
A: Well, that’s our basic idea — to not make it as dogmatic as a religion, but to still offer really awe-inspiring things. It’s about giving groups of people the opportunity to feel something together. And it’s more open than church — you become the protagonist in the story we’ve built. We’re not putting rules in it, like a religion would; we’re just putting in the huge moment.

Whether you buy the high-mindedness or not, it sure looks like fun. You can find out more about their TO foray on the Luminato website.

Image of a past bouncy castle installation by FriendsWithYou from the National Post


Leanne said...

Wow. That sounds really amazing! Thanks for the heads-up. It doesn't matter how old you are, bouncy castles are still genius!

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Leanne, thanks for your comment.

Yes, I'm really looking forward to "experiencing/jumping on" this art firsthand.