Make Music with Others at First Ward Park Through New Public Artwork

Categories: News & Media
The brightly colored “Balancing Act” by Daily tous les jours is interactive.
"Balancing Act" by Daily tous les jours.
“Balancing Act” by Daily tous les jours. Photo by Mitchell Kearney Photography.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 30, 2021) – “Balancing Act,” an interactive public artwork you can make music with by sitting, standing or moving around on one of three brightly colored disks, is now installed at First Ward Park in Uptown Charlotte.

Created the Montreal-based art and design studio Daily tous les jours, the artists consider the artwork to be an amalgamation of urban furniture, playground equipment and interactive musical sculpture.

“It is meant to serve many of the same functions as conventional park furniture,” Daily tous les jours wrote in its artist statement. “It is a place to congregate, relax, sit and enjoy the sun. It’s also a place to play, explore and make music with other people.”

A prototype for the installation was installed in February 2020 and tested over the span of four months. The process allowed the artist team to modify the design and technical components of the existing disk and the two installed in December.

Two amplifiers and a hard drive with digital software provide music to the brightly colored disks. Each disk has a transducer, which essentially allows each disk to function as a speaker and for music to be heard.

The three disks are designed to be played together, allowing people to collaborate and create original compositions.

“This interactive sound sculpture enables people of all ages to enjoy playing individual notes, or balance in the center to be rewarded with a longer tune,” said ASC Vice President of Public Art Carla Hanzal. “When all three discs are activated by three individuals balancing in unison, the reward is symphonic harmony among the three transducers. ‘Balancing Act’ is meant to be a fun tool of engagement that will be enjoyed during all seasons in this active, urban park.”

Funding for the artwork is in accordance with Mecklenburg County’s Public Art Ordinance, which allocates one percent of the total construction budgets for eligible capital projects for public art. ASC manages the public art programs for the county and the City of Charlotte.

The commissioning budget for “Balancing Act” is $255,000, which includes the artist’s fee, design, engineering, fabrication and installation costs.

Other recent additions to Mecklenburg County’s public art collection include “Nested Hive,” a kaleidoscopic-like pavilion installed in November by the Houston-based artist team RE:site at the new Eastway Regional Recreation Center; “Open Book, Open Mind,” a colorful public artwork by Greensboro artist Jim Gallucci installed in November at the entry of the renovated South County Regional Library; and “Divining,” a dowsing rod-inspired artwork by Buster Simpson installed in September at Latta Nature Center

About Daily tous les jours

Daily tous les jours leads an emergent field of practice combining design, interactive art, storytelling, performance and placemaking to reinvent living together in the 21st century.

Over the past 10 years, the Montreal-based art and design studio has signed over 40 original artworks in more than 30 cities around the world. The studio has earned numerous international recognitions, notably the Grand Prize at the UNESCO Shenzhen Design Awards and a Knight Cities Challenge Award for Civic Innovation.

About ASC

ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.

ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

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Contact Information
Bernie Petit