Swiss-born artist Olaf Breuning made this installation of flat cloud shapes for New York's Doris C. Freedman Plaza. The clouds, perched 35 feet above the ground on simple steel beams, will be on view through October 19, 2014. The clouds may look like paper cutouts, but they're actually aluminum. The shapes are based on sketches by the artist.

2 years ago
Murals and Street Art

An arts non-profit in Baltimore hopes to claim a space underneath the Jones Falls Expressway to create the world's largest urban art park. Richard Best, the executive director of the Section 1 Project, has pressured the Maryland Transportation Authority to give them a long-term lease on the space.

When you think Moscow, Red Square comes immediately to mind; the onion domes looming over a wide, stark plaza meant primarily for military processions. But the culture of Moscow is changing, and Jan Gehl Architects has more recently been doing some interesting work on public spaces for the city.

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Beyond the Monolith

Normally we here at Site Specific find sculptures of life-sized people that are made to be approachable to be repulsive; they imply a false cheeriness, like an obvious suggestion that you, as a visitor, should be having fun (why aren't you having fun?). Shark Girl breaks the mold by being deliberately transgressive. Who will sit with the lonely Shark Girl?

A fascinating account in Public Art Review about The Confluence Project, a $38 million dollar series of art installations commemorating the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition. Rather than celebrate from the duo's launching point in St. Louis, the project team chose to look backwards from the point where Merriwether and William reached the Pacific Ocean. That posed a problem though in that many of the key sites are currently on tribal land - and you can imagine that Native Americans have mixed feelings about the expedition.

A pesky problem with sound art is the need for power - unless you're relying on the wind or other natural movements to create the sound, you're reliant on energy to play back sounds or move mechanical elements. Craig Colorusso solved the problem by adding solar panels to his speaker boxes, and working the waning power supply into the piece.

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Yesterday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced the installation of several new pieces of public art around the city. “Public art installations allow Chicagoans to be active participants in arts and culture, and as part of the Chicago Cultural Plan, we’ve made progress on a number of fronts to bring the arts directly to Chicago neighborhoods,” he said in the release. None of the new art caught our eye here at Site Specific, but a piece that has been quietly holding down a corner of the city since last November couldn't help but catch our attention.

Singaporeans love their street food, or "hawker fare." This ingenious design from SPARK, an international design studio, presents a way to capitalize on that food culture to revitalize the city's neglected waterfront. Singapore saw a massive surge of development over the last couple of decades, and the resulting construction turned away from the city's shoreline. The "Solar Orchid" from SPARK is a restaurant built into a floating pod that is essentially the water-based equivalent of a food truck.

From Parklets to Pop-Ups

Rebar is a unique urban design firm that basically invented the parklet. One of their latest constructions is the "Parkcycle Swarm", a series of bicycles mounted into grass platforms. Bike with friends to where you want to enjoy a park-like atmosphere, fold down the handlebars and voila! A park platform.

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Lauren Bacall's recent death unearthed a bit of interesting history: apparently she was a huge fan of sculptor Henry Moore, one of the most ubiquitous public artists in the world.