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A Forest of Glass Orbs Grows in NYC

Paula Hayes fills 18 crystal balls with "the detritus of contemporary culture" in Madison Square Park.
February 19, 2015, 3:00pm
Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York). Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Yasunori Matsui.

18 gazing globes on the west gravel area of Madison Square Park in New York City are filled with “the detritus of contemporary culture,” including radio parts, broken transistors, micro glass beads, acrylic wands, rubber tires, and pulverized compact disc dust. Set on pedestals of varying heights and lit from within, the orbs ooze a clairvoyant ambiance, just like their predecessors from the Middle Ages, which were used to ward off evil.

The public installation, Gazing Globes, captures the past to foretell the future. “I use vintage parts because technology moves at such a fast pace, said artist Paula Hayes said in a press release. “These play a role in the current landscape and how information is transmitted from one part of the globe to the next. I am making an illuminated landscape evocative of the designed landscape of Madison Square Park. Both are born of human imagination and technology.”

Hayes’ field of glass spheres, or “winter wonderland” as she describes it, will be on display until April 19, 2015.

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York). Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Yasunori Matsui. 

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York). Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Yasunori Matsui. 

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York). Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Yasunori Matsui.

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York). Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Yasunori Matsui.

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York). Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Yasunori Matsui.

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