Amsterdam Island is a tiny rock in the southern Indian Ocean, roughly the same distance between Africa, Antarctica and Australia. Not only is it one of the most remote places on the planet, it is also the most distant inhabited landmass from Pittsburgh. In fact, the most direct route between them is through the center of the earth.
But this journey is both impossible and extremely fatal. So, instead, we brought Amsterdam Island to Market Square. I was responsible for designing and managing this project for Ball-Nogues Design Studio. We pre-fabricated the artwork in Los Angeles, and assembled it on site in Pittsburgh.
The piece is an abstracted representation of Amsterdam Island comprising a modular timber substructure, coated with desiccated rubber from recycled tires and finished with a gradient of brightly colored rubber granules that suggest the actual topography of Amsterdam Island.
A series of craters offer views of Amsterdam island, allowing visitors to see the penguin, albatross, seals and human inhabitants of the island.
Other Side of the World seeks to promote global awareness and cultural exchange while examining the beautiful, fraught and always complicated relationship between humankind and the environment. Whether you are the lone survivor of a shipwreck or just planning to pick up a few things at the farmer’s market, you’re invited to visit Amsterdam Island by traversing the shortest distance to the furthest place.