Roland Graf and Nick Tobier
Red Crossing was designed to create physically intelligent structures to facilitate cooperation, emotional release and transcend the expectations of infrastructure as fixed. Emboldening viewers to become participants Red Crossing grows in magnitude with participation, displacing not only passive spectatorship, but also and with particular resonance today with associations of international aid, of mobility, cooperation and border crossings. Our Red Cross(ing) is one of mutual aid that begs the questions of how more public spaces and spheres could be continually in formation, built and re-fashioned, not only by municipal authority and not solely for efficiency, but rather for a flexible and welcoming dynamism.
Red Crossing was first exhibited at the Prague Quadrennial in 2019, and subsequently at the Winnipeg Design Festival (2019), The Museum of Textile and Industry in Augsburg, Germany (2021) and as one of a selection of physical playable structures at Somerset House in London in the 2022 edition of Now Play This, the festival of experimental game design. With aspects of democratic systems such as decision making, resource and power sharing, protest and activism, NowPlayThis invited Graf and Tobier’s project to envision different ways in which we can organize ourselves as communities and societies.
In each location, Red Crossing challenges the assumptions of human movement and flow through public space. It transforms utility and municipal authority into buoyancy and collective action through continuous formations and re-formations of its bouncing surface, its surrounding supporters, and the performers moving across it.