Thursday Salute to Originals: Upside Down Ocean

*crinkle* *whoosh* *shrrrrr* *crunch* That’s the sound of air being sucked out of two hundred and seventy empty white garbage bags in synchronized rhythm. Satisfying, right?

Two Hundred and Seventy – named for the number of plastic bags – is an immersive mixed media installation by artist Nils Volker currently crinkling and whooshing from the ceiling of Vienna, Austria’s Museum für Angewandte Kunst (MAK). The array of plastic is neatly hung in pairs of two, arranged into nine arching rows that appear to expand and dissolve effortlessly — a synchronized ebb and flow through the veil of plastic puffs.

The flow of inflating and deflating motion makes the work visually captivating, but the sound of a chorus of plastic lungs is what makes this piece truly immersive. Can you imagine how it fills the cathedral ceilings? Some have compared the noise to the sound of waves on a beach, but there’s really no parallel outside MAK’s halls.

From the rear, visitors can observe a tangle of cables and circuitry that bring the piece to life. A complex array of wires and circuit boards are programmed meticulously drive an array of fans to create the motion.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Nils Volker’s Two Hundred and Seventy for his brilliant play on the appearance, motion, and sound of material. Two Hundred and Seventy will be on display at MAK in Vienna until spring, deflating for a final time in March 2019.

Sources: Nils Volker, This is Colossal, MAK