The White Ocean

Ooohhh…

The White Ocean

Little bears are enjoying the Beach at the Cutaway in Barangaroo, a monochromatic installation of exactly 1.1 million white balls!

The White Ocean

We went to the 9am ‘quiet time’ 🙂

The White Ocean

The experience is the brainchild of New York-based art and architecture collaborative practice, Snarkitecture. The idea was initially commissioned in 2015 by the National Building Museum in Washington, when the balls were gifted to artists and other organisations. It is the first time such a concept has been featured outside of the US.

Anyone can swim here, immersed in a vast monochromatic sea of translucent white orbs. There are a few rules. No food or drink, apart from water. Shoes are best left off. And consider emptying pockets before diving in as lost objects will not be returned until January 30. When a record-breaking 160,000 people visited The Beach in Washington in 2015 an unexpectedly huge collection of shoes, sunglasses, FitBits, clothes, scarves, hats and nearly 100 mobile phones were lost in the balls!

The White Ocean

Snarkitecture, who formed in 2008 and draw their name from Lewis Carroll’s poem The Hunting of The Snark, seek to challenge people’s expectations in architectural spaces and sculptural objects, for museums, festivals, performance works and retail spaces.

One work, titled Dig, featured the collective digging their way through a massive block of expanded polystyrene with chisels and pick axes to make a cavelike interior. Another, Drift, was made from hundreds of white sausage-like inflatable vinyl tubes bundled around the Design Miami Pavilion at Art Basel.

Daniel Arsham from Snarkitecture creating Dig
Daniel Arsham from Snarkitecture creating Dig
Drift, Snarkitecture
Drift, Snarkitecture

At the Beach, the ‘ocean’ is surrounded by a white synthetic “sand” carpet similar to a synthetic lawn. Umbrellas and ‘life guards’ are also a feature.

The White Ocean

The fun is definitely with the balls. And they are tough to “swim” through or walk through.

The White Ocean

But very easy for little bears to sit on!

The White Ocean

The White Ocean

The balls are made from antimicrobial plastic, are germ-free and really easy to clean up. The plastic balls for the Sydney Festival were donated by the Vinik Family Foundation in Tampa, Florida, where they were featured in another event. Work is now underway to find a new home for the balls post-festival with negotiations underway between festival organisers and plastic recycling companies. Little bears would happily fill the house with the balls!

The White Ocean

Excellent, a passing crocodile distracted them from packing the balls to take home!

The White Ocean

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