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Creative Momentum is a weekly series of art projects that employ readily available materials found in and around the home. Our aim is to continue to offer activities that are connected to contemporary artists, ideas, and practices and that promote critical thinking, social awareness, and inspired making. 

Creative Momentum projects will arrive on Thursdays until Art Omi resumes public programs and workshops.

We encourage you to post your projects to Instagram tagged with #artomi and #educationomi to be featured in Art Omi's stories or feed!

Hou de Sousa, Prismatic, 2018

Creative Momentum 03: Hou de Sousa
(currently on view in the Sculpture & Architecture Park)

The Artists

Hou de Sousa is a New York based design studio whose projects span between architecture and public art. The design duo, comprised of architects Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa, promotes innovative, culturally progressive and environmentally responsible design solutions. Hou de Sousa was recently honored with the winning proposal for the Architectural League of New York’s 2016 Folly/Function competition to design and build an open-air educational space at Socrates Sculpture Park. 

The Artwork

Prismatic is a kaleidoscopic experience of light, color, and space framed by a myriad of perspectives. Unique on all sides, the piece encourages viewers to explore its exterior, as well as meander through its translucent corridors. Iridescent rope weaves between a lattice of rebar, while the gaps between these cords provides transparency and results in a dynamic visual effect known as a moiré. As visitors turn their gaze or walk about the space, patterns in the background and foreground continuously converge and separate, creating a sense of movement and changing the way they see the forms.

The Materials

  • Any small or medium-sized cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Tape or a stapler
  • Markers
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • String, yarn, twine, embroidery floss, dental floss, or thread

The Project

  • Take apart or deconstruct your cardboard box, changing it from a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional object. 
  • Cut away two of the four large sides and all but two of the 'flaps' 
  • Using a ruler or straight edge and colorful markers, draw lines that start at one edge of the cardboard and end at another. Try to criss-cross and overlap your lines. You might try to use the same colors you see in Prismatic or experiment with a different color palette. The more lines the better!
  • Reconstruct the cardboard by overlapping the flaps so that you have a stand-up, two-sided form with a bottom. Tape the flaps in place so the form stands on its own. (You should now have a base that looks like the corner of a room with no ceiling).
  • Using scissors, cut small notches about 1 inch apart on all exposed sides of the form (top, sides, and bottom).
  • Tie a knot in the end of your string and slide into one of the cardboard notches to secure it. Now, guide your string to a new notch on a different side of your form. Slide the string in place, wrap around the back of the notch and continue to another empty spot (kind of like flossing your teeth!). You are now creating lines in space, just like Prismatic. Mix it up, and try to make your string travel in all different directions. Continue building until all of your notches have been strung....or keep going to see what happens!

Sharing and Thinking

  • Prismatic was designed and shaped through a process of competing forces or opposite actions. It's like the strings are trying to burst out from inside each prism, but they are being held in or confined by a box. We might even feel the same way these days, wanting to get out and visit with friends but knowing we have to stay in for a while to be safe. Making art can help us see and understand our feelings in a different way. 
  • Hold your sculpture up in front of you or place it on a table. Move around it and let your eyes wander through the forest of lines you have created. Does it seem like the lines are vibrating or even moving between one another? This is called moiré effect and it happens when viewing a set of lines that are layered over another set of lines, where the sets differ in size, angle, or spacing.
  • Show your artwork to a friend or family member. Can they see the moiré effect? Did they notice something new about your sculpture or see it in a different way?
  • Give your work a title!
Remember: post your projects to Instagram tagged with #artomi and #educationomi to be featured in Art Omi's stories or feed!

Art Omi continues to permit access to the Sculpture & Architecture Park during the suspension of public programming. Visitors are required to observe a safe distance from others, and adhere to other social distancing practices while at the park.

Copyright © 2020 Art Omi, All rights reserved.

Art Omi is a not-for-profit arts organization with residency programs for international artists, writers, translators, musicians, architects and dancers. Art Omi believes that exposure to internationally diverse creative voices fosters tolerance and respect, raises awareness, inspires innovation, and ignites change. By forming community with creative expression as its common denominator, Omi creates a sanctuary for the artistic community and the public to affirm the transformative quality of art.

Art Omi: Education engages people of all ages with contemporary art and ideas in a stimulating and dynamic community. Through creative exploration, hands-on learning and making experiences, collaboration, and critical thinking, Art Omi: Education instills understanding, appreciation, and lifelong curiosity in the arts.

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