“Big news from the Dupont Underground today: The launch of the Re-Ball! competition to repurpose the National Building Museum’s 650,000+ BEACH balls.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user molly

From a press release:

The Dupont Underground, the nonprofit organization that is revitalizing the former trolley station beneath D.C.’s iconic Dupont Circle into a new venue for art, performance, and creative activation, is pleased to announce the launch of Re-Ball!, an open design competition for a site-specific installation in part of the subterranean space. The exhibition and events that occur during its run will be the first time the old station has been opened up for use in two decades.

Re-Ball! is the result of a Dupont Underground partnership with the National Building Museum to reuse the hundreds of thousands of translucent 3-inch plastic balls that were part of the museum’s blockbuster BEACH installation last summer. In addition to donating the balls, the National Building Museum will also have a representative on the competition jury, help promote the Re-Ball! competition and exhibition, and assist with the installation and programming.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Dupont Underground to make its cultural mission evident from the beginning, and to do something unexpected, unprecedented, and large-scale,” said Braulio Agnese, the nonprofit’s managing director. “We were thrilled when the National Building Museum agreed to let us take the BEACH balls for a new installation, and we’re eager to see what people envision for the material, and our space.”

Created in collaboration with District design studio Archotus, Re-Ball! is open to everyone: artists, architects, designers, and the general public. The competition asks entrants to repurpose the plastic balls in a way that engages and responds to the unique qualities of the Dupont Underground’s east platform, a massive, curving, 14,000-square-foot venue. The competition ends on March 4, with the winner to be announced a few weeks later. The final installation, when complete, will be open for viewing several days a week from April 30 through June 1. Complete Re-Ball! information is available at the competition website: re-ball.org.

The Phillips Collection, the venerated museum of Modern art that sits just blocks from the Dupont Underground space, is also a Re-Ball! institutional partner. The Phillips will have a representative on the jury and assist with promotion of the competition and installation. Additionally, the museum will work with the Dupont Underground on cultural event programming and venue collaboration during the exhibition’s run.

The Re-Ball! installation will be a temporary, introductory use of the east platform prior to the venue’s full opening later in 2016. In addition to select public viewing times and installation-related programming, the space will be available for private rental, said managing director Agnese. “There won’t be anything else like Re-Ball! in the District this year. Also, it’s the first time the Dupont Underground space will be open. We think the combination of an innovative, compelling art experience and an amazing, little-known space will be a draw for individuals to visit and for local companies and collectives to be part of something exciting.”

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7 Comment

  • Re-ball Dupont? Sorry boys, but that ship’s long gone; sailed East.

  • First they crowdsourced moving the balls from the National Building Museum to this site, now they’re crowdsourcing what to do with them? Pass…

    • womp womp how dare they offer a design competition including funding for the winner to create something!!!! I’m so furious about all this newfangled “crowdsourcing”!! arggghhhH!

  • figby

    Ewww — recommend toxic waste facility for those snot-covered bacteria balls.

  • Those balls were stinky from day 1, I can only imagine what a couple months of summer sweat from kids, adults would do to those balls now. I wouldn’t even touch them with a 10 ft pole

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Seems a bit too broad in scope and unfocused.

  • justinbc

    They really need to just let these things go away. It was a neat moment in time for some people, but let it pass.

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