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FriendsWithYou Has a Ball at the Oakland Museum of California

“We want the public to feel like they’re completing the exhibit.”


A darkened room. A glowing rainbow light. Ambient electronic music. It’s not an Oakland warehouse rave: It’s the latest work of art on display at the Oakland Museum of California, Nature’s Gift, the brainchild of Los Angeles–based art collective FriendsWithYou, whose playful, large-scale installations have previously appeared in New York, Miami, and Seoul.

The Oakland piece is the group’s largest to date—it involves a colorful, 55-foot-long cluster of inflated nylon globes and cylinders, all illuminated in Technicolor by an LED light system. The sculpture will be “unlike any experience we have had at OMCA since we opened in 1969,” says curator Carin Adams. It’ll take up the entirety of the museum’s Great Hall, where visitors can walk through and around it—or view it from a “forest” of hammocks hanging in the hall.

On Friday nights throughout the exhibit’s run, the museum will host a bar and special events like yoga and dance parties. “We want the public to feel like they’re completing the exhibit,” Adams says. Oct. 7–Jan. 21, 2018


Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco 

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