Miami-raised artist Daniel Arsham and his collaborative practice Snarkitecture have been commissioned to create two large signature features for Miami’s new Florida Marlins ballpark. The new 37,000-seat stadium, situated on the site of the former Orange Bowl in Little Havana, is scheduled to open in 2012. The $5.3 million Art in Public Places budget, a requirement for all new Miami-Dade county buildings to set aside 1.5% of the capital costs for public art, will encompass four projects, two of which will be by Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture. Arsham, along with Snarkitecture partner and architect Alex Mustonen, will create a commemorative marker recognizing the site’s rich history and an installation for the illumination of the exterior columns.
Memories of the old “MIAMI ORANGE BOWL” sign form the basis for the commemorative marker by Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture. These letters are reconstructed in their original ten foot height and orange color and scattered throughout the public plaza on the east side of the stadium. Their positions capture an ambiguous moment between destruction and rebuilding: some stand vertically; others are angled in mid-collapse or submerged in the ground, while others lay horizontally as if at rest. Spelling various words depending on one’s vantage point - GAME, WON, and others - the commemorative encourages visitors to stop, look, walk around, touch, contemplate the past and create new memories.
The concept for the column illumination by Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture began with the simple idea of revealing and concealing the columns through the use of light. Standing nearly 200 feet in height, each super column will fade up and down as if the light was a human breath, the four columns appearing and disappearing in subtly varying rhythms suggesting four people breathing in unison, but at slightly different rates employing hundreds of powerful LEDs. This beacon will be visible from great distances drawing people to the stadium and announcing events occurring within.
Since graduating from Cooper Union in 2003, Daniel Arsham has become a leading figure in the Miami art world, exhibiting at leading international institutions, festivals and art fairs. Arsham’s work revolves around the rethinking of our relationship to architecture. His interest in a fluid, impermanent architecture evolved into a multifaceted practice and penchant for collaboration that spans the fields of art, architecture and performance, working with such notables as Jonah Bokaer, Merce Cunningham, Friends With You, Hedi Slimane and Robert Wilson. Such collaborations led to the founding of Snarkitecture with partner Alex Mustonen to further expand the possibilities of spatial manipulation to serve new and imaginative purposes.
“The lighting of Daniel Arsham is something you won’t see in any other ballpark,” said Marlins president David Samson. “It’s something so spectacular, and it’s to be enjoyed by everybody.”
Images: Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture