We Dig Art and Culture: EXXOPOLIS

BY: SANDY BRAMBILA

When I first saw Exxopolis from the outside, I couldn’t help but think of a giant bounce house. The inside was both playful and soulful. If you were fortunate enough to be there with just a few people, you could definitely feel a sense of calm, meditative energy in the giant orb like rooms filled with radiant colorful light.

Nooks built into some of the larger room were especially comfortable and good for sitting and listening to the ambient music playing throughout the exhibit.

Many maze-like tunnels connected each of the separate rooms. Exploring them was fun. I didn't know what I would expect when I reached the end of each tunnel.

Colors changed from room to room and the energy changed along with them. The red room was charged. The green room was hot. The blue room was cool and calm.

Most surprising was the red room with a giant flower spouting from the center of the floor. It reached all the way to the top of the dome and tapered out at the bottom. Some people were sliding down the flower stem… a tempting proposition.

The blue room was the largest. It was toped with a mosaic-like dome more than ten feet high and had stained glass windows. I lay on the floor and took in the view. It looked like a star filled night in the middle of the day.

My favorite part of the exhibit has watching others interact with each other and with the sculpture itself. Children laughed and rolled on the ground. Students crawled in the tunnels. Everyone was enchanted by the colors when they entered the structure.

As the exhibit got more crowed the sounds changed. The ambient music still played on in the background but the wows and awes of the viewers meshed along with it.

At one point it got really hot and loud and I knew it was time for me to step back out into reality.

ASI hosted Exxopolis last week. Architects of Air, from the United Kingdom, created the interactive inflatable-sculpture. They have been designing “luminaria” inspired by Islamic Architecture and Gothic Cathedrals since 1992.