Team Building (Align)
Team Building (Align), commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is constructed of two 30 foot-wide metal rings suspended from telephone poles and trees, oriented so that their shadows become one during the annual summer solstice. Please click on the right image to find more information on The IMA's page, or the left to visit Align's flickr page.
In late 2006 Type A was invited to create work for the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. Since that time, we have developed a project that allows us to interacts directly with the a selected group of museum staff. The heart of the project, a series of team-building encounters with that group, has essentially offered opportunities for each individual in the group to participate and experience an artwork in an entirely new and unique way, both on a personal and shared level. The focus of building trust, enthusiasm, communication and community is not of- ten, if ever, addressed in the workplace. From the beginning the Team Building project was described as a “gesture,” one in which Type A would produce no physical residue. Photography and video would be created by the participants themselves and would be disseminated via the Internet). Since Type A had been originally commissioned to create an artwork for 100 Acres, we concurrently developed a sculptural component to the project. It is the relationship between these two elements of the work, one experiential and intangible and the other physical that has driven the design of the sculptural installation.
Prior to beginning the actual team building portion of the project Type A settled upon a sculpture concept that addressed how art institutions often keep their audiences at arm’s-length, both physically and psychologically. The piece, a large climbing tower suspended out of reach from the viewer, addressed the tension between utility and uselessness in the making and viewing of art. While this issue remains of interest, it began to feel less and less related to the experience of working with the IMA team. Eventually the team was invited into a discussion of the sculpture with the possibility that their input might influence the deign and installation. Although the discussions were open-ended and without resolution, they inspired a complete reconsideration of the sculpture’s design.
The decision was made to start anew and approach the artwork without any preconceptions or assumptions. The focus was on creating a piece that connects fully with the experiential process we had all shared over the months, acknowledging both the topics that had arisen as well as the formal elements of shape and movement that recurred during the Team Building project.