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Shatterproof and high in the sky

“Weather permitting” wasn’t too dramatic of a term until this past week and a half in New York. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy the city came to a immediate stop. Luckily days before she hit, I was beyond lucky to visit Cloud City, an exhibit designed by Tomas Saraceno; this constellation installation was a reflective and funky structure made of asymmetrical shapes, steel, and reflecting acrylic panels. Not unlike En Pointe’s variety of shatterproof mirrors, I kept thinking to myself as I viewed my reflection from something other than glass.

You had to be ten years old to enter, only thirteen of us could go up at a time, and once you were in the funhouse it was hard to figure out which way to go as it was one reflective oddball bubble-like path; once you made your way through it and to the top, the acrylic floors began to squeak as the last bit was a circular extension from the rest in which you hovered over the roof of the Met.

Climbing out a different way than you came in signaled the end of the Cloud City journey and left you with a bit of dizziness accompanied with a giant smile on your face. What’s there to say besides, “That was so cool.” I love suspended, engineered polyhedrons made of mirrors there was no way I could break.

The view of Manhattan across gorgeous Central Park, foliage in mid color change and the skyline shining in midday glory… these are the kind of New York moments that make up for the rest.

Not to mention these views are reflected and reflected again, bouncing off Saraceno’s creation everywhere you look. Which truly pose the questions – what is it that you’re looking at and what is it that you see?

They say everyone sees something different in modern art; when you’re dancing in front of an En Pointe mirror for example, is it the mirror itself you see? Your own reflection you’re busy critiquing? Someone else’s reflection bouncing back to you from the background?  

When others are encompassed within one singular reflection it almost makes it an interactive experience, as it was up inside the Cloud City sculpture. Reflections can in fact be interactive, artistic, intriguing, beautiful, and confusing. A basic mirror becomes so much more than basic; there’s a lot to look at, so make sure to look around.