Formation Association

Formation Association

Los Angeles, CA


MAS / Long Beach Mobile Art Space

The MAS / Long Beach Mobile ArtSpace represents an exceptional opportunity to transform vacant lots within underserved neighborhoods in the city of Long Beach, bringing art into dialogue with community in a mutually engaging manner. The result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between art, architecture, environmental design, and engineering, the project is a nexus engaging an array of programmatic, social, and economic agendas.  The mobile nature of the program informed a broader understanding of the project that extends beyond a single performance, from its arrival on site to its continued transformation. 

A helium-filled object emerges from the box, illuminated from within, able to take on a range of atmospheres and effects, a beacon broadcasting within the community. Supporting a range of performance including opera, dance, and theater, the project is designed for maximum flexibility, reflective of its black box moniker.

Its perimeter unfolds to a cruciform stage, which can support end stage, thrust, and arena configurations, as well as supporting projection and natural acoustics.

Rising overhead, a canopy of netting, aluminum, and helium-filled balloons creates a new kind of fly tower where gravity is inverted. This levitated scenographic device supports projection, illumination, and lift for equipment and performers, creating a new backdrop for performance.

Finally, when the performance is complete, the experience of the project continues: the box remains on site, a site-specific sound installation providing a layered echo of the multiple performances that have taken place. Taken in sum, the project builds on its mobile nature to create a continued narrative of transformation, combining minimal means for maximum effect.


AIA Los Angeles: 2011 Next LA Citation Award  

AIA Long Beach / South Bay: 2011 Citation Award

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Status: Unbuilt
Additional Credits: Via a competition conducted by the Art Council for Long Beach, the MAS / Long Beach Mobile ArtSpace commission was awarded to the collaborative team of: Steve Roden, Formation Association, 64North, Buro Happold