Emerging Voices 2011: Ball-Nogues Studio

Emerging Voices 2011: Ball-Nogues Studio

Cradle, Los Angeles
Monica Nouwens

Ball-Nogues Studio

Los Angeles, California

The undisputed kings of West Coast installation architecture are  

Liquid Sky, 2007 installation at P.S.1, Queens (left) and Maximilian’s Schell, Los Angeles (right).
Mark Lentz

Working with teams that range from three to 12 people depending on the scope and complexity of the work, Ball-Nogues has created  

Feathered Edge installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (left) and Gravity’s Loom installation, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana (right).
Benny Chan and Hadley Fruits

Much of Ball and Nogues work is based on solving material challenges and then furthering their material potential. For their 2007 canopy installation Liquid Sky at PS1, the firm worked with a manufacturer to develop a more robust version of Maximilian’s mylar to withstand higher wind loads and more abuse from visitors. Using computer algorithms and digital cutting machines, they fabricated 1,300 unique pieces that were then put together by hand.

Courtyard at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, Los Angeles, Ball-Nogues Studio.
Scott Mayorla

Other series have investigated polished stainless steel spheres (Cradle at Santa Monica Place and a much larger upcoming installation for the city of Edmonton in Canada) and even the cardboard-like polymer used in fast-food-to-go containers. Upcoming work includes a gel-based window mosaic for Mercy Housing’s 10th and Mission Teen Center in San Francisco, and, possibly, a paper pulp installation for the experimental Andrea Zittel gallery and showroom near Joshua Tree.

The pair do not want to be pegged as artists. “We want to effect space, and we’re also interested in social dynamics and the types of activities and interaction of people,” said Nogues. Designing full-scale architecture might even come into play. “Building something that lasts for 50 years versus something that lasts for six months are two sides of the same coin,” said Ball. “I think eventually it will happen,” added Nogues. “I think we’re more than capable of stepping up to that.”