The artist Jeppe Hein was born and educated in Copenhagen and is now based in Berlin, where he focuses on interactive projects that playfully challenge the separation between artwork and audience. His installation Bench Around the Lake is part of 100 Acres, the just-opened sculpture park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The idea is that this is a single continuous park bench that emerges from the ground, twists, turns and submerges again in several locations around the 35-acre lake. Following the “path” of this bench provides continuity to the park experience and encourages visitors to explore less frequented areas of the park.
Each bench is functional to some extent. This was the most challenging one that I came across:
Hein created another installation inside the IMA. Entitled Distance, it is a huge rollercoaster for PVC balls, which is activated as each person walks into the gallery. For more information about the process behind Hein’s IMA installations, check out this video.
I love public art, and I especially love public art that integrates function with delight, like these benches, and also the 16th Avenue Steps in San Francisco, the Limestone Sofa in Columbus, and Tours de Cincy, the first Queen City Art Rack, an ongoing project by Cincinnati’s own ArtWorks. I’m making it a point to find and document more examples of what I’m loosely calling “civic design” so, if you can think of something else I should check out, please let me know.