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Times Square Alliance and mmmm. Unveil the World Premiere of "Meeting Bowls" in Times Square
Tourists sit in the art installation "Meeting Bowls" by the Spanish collaborative mmmm in Times Square in New York August 17, 2011. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson.
NEW YORK, N.Y.- The Times Square Alliance with the Consulate General of Spain New York today present a month-long public art installation of a new generation of urban furnishing, termed the Meeting Bowls. At 5 feet tall and 7 feet in diameter and open to the sky and flashing billboards of Times Square, the giant bowls can host up to eight strangers or friends. The collaborative of Spanish artists, mmmm…, created the Meeting Bowls to capture urban territory for use as social places for gathering and getting to know people.

On a first-come, first-serve basis, all members of the public can enjoy the intimate spaces from 8 AM to Midnight today through September 16, located at 46th St. and Broadway. This is the world premiere of Meeting Bowls and the first installation by mmmm… in the United States.

“Times Square stands as a testing ground for emerging ideas, and the Meeting Bowls offer a unique approach to foster private, intimate conversations in this enormous and often anonymous public setting,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “The Meeting Bowls are a new type of temporary and playful urban furniture creating a small oasis and an opportunity for dialogue in the midst of a bustling urban space.”

The Meeting Bowls gently rock as people step in and out. The artists created the gentle motion to be relaxing and fun much like a swing, but one for adults. Once inside the bowls, signs ask people to record and to share their dialogue via smartphones or laptops. QR codes and hashtags facilitate connecting to others from the past or in the future through the mmmm… website, facebook and twitter. The links to www.mmmm.tv, facebook.com/mmmm.tv, and twitter.com/mmmmtv with #MeetingBowls

“Contemporary to the recent Spanish 15-M Movement, and similar in aspiration, we hope the Meeting Bowls will encourage dialogue and interaction in the most important main square in the world, Times Square,” said Eva Salmeron of mmmm… “The small group discussions will promote a sense of community and humanize the modern city.” (The 15-M movement in Spain involved social networks triggering discussion about contemporary Spanish politics.)

Rather than build and ship the Meetings Bowls from Spain, mmmm… utilized global computer-aided manufacturing. Digital files of the 250 parts were emailed to Advanced Cutting Services in Roselle, New Jersey. Teaming with R&N, the sheets of waterproof high-density chipboard or MDF were cut with computer driven routers. On Tuesday, August 16, the four artists will assemble the meeting bowls with only screw guns and rubber hammers live in Times Square.

Meeting Bowls is part of the Times Square Alliance’s ongoing efforts to bring the best of contemporary art and design to Times Square.





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