I started a new project. No, not an installation. At least, that's not the one on my mind right now. I decided it was time to produce a book about my past projects. I keep thinking about all the places I've traveled, the people I've met, and the things I've done and I realize I need to put the coolest of these into a fun book. I haven't even decided if this book is for me or others. It just needs to be done. And just in the short time I've put in so far, I'm finding tons of old photos from projects I had forgotten about. With each photo I pick up, I want to tell a story about how that one came to be. Of course, I know no one wants to hear that many of my personal stories, but I'm having a blast. Some of the things I'm finding are things I was so proud of at the time they were created but that I'd be embarrassed to sell today. Others are reminding me of people that I haven't talked to in years that I'd love to catch up with now. One of the things I dug up was a video that aired on Fuji Television in japan in December 1998. The video has actually been online all this time. But as Internet connection speeds and monitor resolutions have increased, the thumbnail-sized video I had online looks a little silly now. So, as a fun look back at what large scale balloon projects used to look like, here it is at a larger, more visible scale.
The samurai and demon in this video was my first mega huge balloon project. It was built in Tokyo with a crew combining Japanese celebrities and a television stage crew. This opened the door to my large sculptures as community and team building projects. I didn't speak the language of my crew, but we were able to communicate through art and produced something absolutely amazing. My work style has changed immensely in the years since this. I learned a lot on this project that I've been able to teach everywhere I've been in the world. Notice the drama in the build. You don't need to speak Japanese to catch all of it in this video. Some projects these days are just as stressful when there are serious time constraints, but this was truly an example of learning on the job. It turned out that some of the techniques I intended to use just didn't translate to the larger scale we had to work at. I had become accustomed to building sculptures using a few hundred balloons. This one required 15,000.
Promotion Marketing Association's Blur Conference
In addition to the book project, I do have another smaller installation I've been planning. I'm off to Chicago next week to create a giant antique cash register for the Promotion Marketing Association. At first, I have to admit, I wondered how I was going to make a fifteen foot cash register exciting. But after a bit of playing with it, Kelly and I came up with a plan that I can't wait to put in place. This thing will be a blast. I can't wait to see conference attendees taking turns standing inside the register for photos.
Elastic Park voting and the Pepsi Refresh project
Thanks to everyone that's been supporting us on the quest for a Pepsi Refresh grant. Over 10,000 people have viewed the Elastic Park video in the last month and a half. I can only imagine how many votes that's translated into. As promised, I haven't been pestering everyone about continuing to vote. But we can still use your help. You can vote for us daily to help us get the $50,000 grant needed to make Elastic Park a reality. If you do want daily reminders from us to vote, feel free to sign up for them. We're making those reminders as fun as we can by including jokes, pictures and other fun items related to dinosaurs. If you want to know what fun facts you've missed over the last couple of weeks, you can find everything we've sent out on the Elastic Park blog.