|Commissioning Entity||Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership|
Other Side of the World by internationally renowned Ball-Nogues Studio from Los Angeles, California, is an abstract representation of Amsterdam Island, the most distant, nearly-opposite landmass from Pittsburgh.
Located in the South Indian Ocean, Amsterdam Island, also known as Île Amsterdam in French, is one of the most remote places on the planet. Positioned between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia, the island is part of a rich ecoregion, and boasts several endemic species such as the Amsterdam albatross. The landscape itself reveals an extinct volcano, craters, and vents amid the island’s coastal cliffs, grasslands, and mostly undisturbed shores.
Discovered by the Spanish in 1522, explored by the Dutch, and claimed by the French in 1843, Amsterdam Island is now inhabited by only 25 French climate scientists. The island is an ecological haven where researchers can monitor CO2 concentration levels, study the impact of atmospheric contaminants, and observe the unique flora and fauna.
By creating Other Side of the World for Market Square, Ball-Nogues Studio brings an unreachable locale to Pittsburgh. Comprised of a modular timber substructure, coated with desiccated rubber from recycled tires, and finished with a gradient of brightly colored rubber granules, Other Side of the World becomes a playful, vibrant, and physically accessible version of Amsterdam Island that invites participants into a warm and immersive experience.
Moreover, the artwork encourages viewers to think outside of the box and reflect on the world’s vast geography, and consider the histories and stories of relatively unknown places like Amsterdam Island. The fantastical elements of Other Side of the World endeavor to spark curiosity, imagination, and new perspectives among Pittsburghers.
By Office of Public Art & Ball-Nogues Studio
Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in a territory between architecture, art, and industrial design, led by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues. Their work is informed by the exploration of craft. Essential to each project is the "design" of the production process itself, with the aim of creating environments that enhance sensation, generate spectacle, and invite physical engagement.
Courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio.