Ridiculous Love

Love is often ridiculous. This participatory art project invites you to share your experiences of how ridiculous love is for you.

Here’s a time lapse video of our installation in September at the Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin:

Ridiculous Love from Nicole on Vimeo.

Read about our process below the jump:

Nicole and I use a chat program that allows us to leave each other voicemails. Since we are both a) silly b) in love, some of these messages are definitely ridiculous. Nicole started a collection of these a few years ago which has just grown. We thought it would be fun to invite people to celebrate the ridiculousness that love can sometimes produce, thus Ridiculous Love was born.

The project allows up to four people to sit together on a bench, listen to some inspirational ridiculous music with ridiculous love, then provide their own notes about their experience with ridiculous love which are then pinned to the box:

A series of notes written on coloured construction paper by the art installation's participants describing what Ridiculous Love means to them. The background is the same vibrant pink as the installation piece.

The electronics:

We purchased

  • two simple mp3 players
  • two y splitters for 1/8″ audio cables
  • 4 sets of headphones
  • 2 usb power banks
  • some coloured paracord to attach the headphones to the structure

We put our sound files on the mp3 players, then put each mp3 player plugged into a power bank in each side of the structure, with 2 sets of headphones attached to each. To make sure there wasn’t too much stress put on the headphone cables, we tied the headphones to the structure with paracord. This worked pretty well! We have had no headphone casualties so far.

One note: you get what you pay for with mp3 players. We bought these crazy cheap players for less than 3$ each, with cheap micro SD cards. One of them has a non-functioning battery, and when putting the SD card in the other, we managed to shove it between the case and the SD card slot. After some surgery on the player we managed to get the card in the right place, but… lesson learned.

The structure:

In developing the structure, we knew we wanted somewhere people could sit and lounge, but we also wanted to minimize the amount of storage space needed in our apartments for the project. Inspired by the seating choice of many hipster bars in the city, we chose to use beer boxes as the base for our installation. This means we just pay a deposit for the boxes when we need them, then return them to the store when we’re done!

Originally, our design required over 20 boxes though, which would have been a challenge to transport given that we don’t have a car. So we got creative and used some wooden posts to extend the tent structure into the air. This meant we needed a total of 14 boxes – which is still a lot, but much more manageable than twice that many.

To make the boxes comfortable to sit on, we put a camping mattress on top. We tied the whole thing together with ratcheting straps.

The fabric:

The best part of the project is the amazing colour of the structure. Originally we wanted to use pink fun-fur to cover the whole structure. We even ordered 10 m of pink fur from an online retailer! Unfortunately it arrived dirty and not at all the right colour:

Light pink fun fur that has black stains on it

With sadness in our hearts, we headed to modulor to see if we could find something better. And we did! We spoke with a wonderful employee in the fabric department who knew exactly what we needed: hot pink stretchy lycra. Its stretchiness makes it super forgiving, and the colour is amazing.

To make the first installation, we just safety pinned the material together, but ideally we’ll sew it all together for our 2018 installations.

The decorations:

To make the Ridiculous Love project really stand out, we added some ridiculous decorations.

  • On top of the box we made some “neon lights” by attaching battery powered electroluminescent wire (from dealextreme) to some stiffer wire that we shaped into the letters LOVE.
  • We made a sign that said ART. LOVE! on one side, and KUNST. LIEBE! on the other with the letters made of glitter tape on a black foamcore background.
  • We pinned tiny red hearts to the structure.

The interactive part:

We asked folks to experience the sound installation, and then pick a piece of paper and crayon in a colour of their choice to write a note about their experience of ridiculous love. These notes were then pinned on to the structure for others to read and be inspired by.

The installation:

We managed to find one Sp├Ąti that gave us all 14 of our beer cases at once! We thought we would need a cab, but we managed to attach all the boxes to a skateboard which worked as a hand cart to get them all to the park.

Nicole standing next to 12 beer boxes which are attached to a skateboard. The LIEBE. KUNST! sign and a hula hoop are also attached to the skateboard.

The rest of the equipment fit in my camping backpack. You can see us assembling the project in the video above!