Danny O, Ball Walk (2001)
Part of the Game Show, May 2001 - April 2002 at Mass MoCA
Boston-based artist Danny O is the artist behind Ball Walk, a work in the GE Plastics Gallery at MASS MoCA. Ball Walk is a project to create a work of art and at the same time set a record for the largest collection of found balls in the world. There are currently 7,000 balls installed in the work at MASS MoCA and O is asking for the community's help in filling the gallery with balls by the end of the summer. He estimates that it will take approximately 16,000 balls to fill the space.
Danny O believes that the found ball is "the highest form in the found object family," its shape symbolic of the planet connecting the inner with the outer world. Of all shapes, O says, "the sphere emanates the most joy and is the one perfect shape." O breathes life into these found balls believing they have "personalities" of their own; they mirror "a family complete from the babies (superballs, small bobbers) through to the grandfather and grandmother (old, weathered, cracked and aged balls)."
The process of ball collecting is deeply meaningful to Danny O. It is a meditative quest that takes the artist to parks, rivers, beaches and behind fences. O follows natural process, his art being one of discovery, recovery and recyclability. His art is undeniably linked to the world it cleans up; as O agrees, it is an "aestheticizing of recycling." Photo: Nick Whitman.