Wonder Wheel New York, NY 2017

We participated in the Storefront for Art & Architecture‘s model show: New New York Icons. The show includes more than 59 objects and/or models created by artists and designers to represent New York City’s community districts. The show is running from September 16th – November 18th, 2017 at 97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY.

Coney Island has historically been a place of innovative amusement. Its legacy casts it as a battleground for the most electric lights to the tallest attractions, and as a spectrum of awe and shock that spans recreating disasters in the city to live freak shows. Like the multitude of available hot dog toppings, it has a sloppy indulgence for everyone. Our souvenir is not so much the recreation of an object but a celebration of that indulgence. It is “over the top” in a way that is meant to mimic Coney Island’s ambivalence to the crude or sophisticated technology necessary to produce every thrill, scream, and stare. It is meant to be engaged with and touched. Rather than mimicking icons, it recreates a small collection of experiences from the island’s amusing history and the history of interactive souvenirs. Somewhere between a snow globe and a gumball machine, our souvenir model reflects the vibrant past and present of Coney Island’s participatory entertainment. It slides, drops, and blinks for no other reason than to capture your attention. Just as Coney Island might have been a testing ground for Manhattan, our model is a small experiment in deliriousness. We had to figure out a lot of technical things to make it really dumb. Our hope is that you spend more time with our model than you should, a celebration of wasting time for the sake of amusement, confusion, or both!