Swing higher and higher … right back to childhood

A couple weeks ago I went to Paolo Salvagione’s closing event of his “Competitive Swinging”. It was great fun*. A reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Sarah Adler was there and interviewed me :-)

View the full article here

Here are bits of the article archived locally

Sarah Adler took some nice photos of us on the swings. Thanks Sarah!

Former artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, conceptual artist and sculptor Paolo Salvagione was invited back in April to activate the gymnasium space. Calling it “Competitive Swinging,” he created a sculpture for the old military barrack by utilizing the existing ceiling hardware once used to hang climbing rope for military exercises. He combined that with the basketball court’s geometric grid to hang and linearly place 10 swings (five on each side).

Recalling the squeaky swing set of his childhood, Salvagione designed the swings to avoid any audible reference; rather, participants swing in silence, feeling the breeze off the Marin Headlands.

On the last day of its installation, folks gathered to swing as pendulums and relive the playfulness of their own childhood swing sets.

– Sarah Adler, sadler@sfchronicle.com

David Calkins, 43

Profession: Robot builder

Neighborhood: Mill Valley

When was the last time you were on a swing?

A few weeks ago because Emma (his 2 1/2-year-old daughter with him at the gymnasium) loves to play on the swings.

What is your first swinging memory?

In the park by my grandma’s house growing up. There was a set of swings with big tall metal posts – you could get really high up.

How do you feel when you are swinging on a swing?

You get that almost flying sensation. But it’s hard if you don’t swing on a regular basis; you’re surprised by how many muscles you don’t normally use.

Other favorite piece of playground equipment?

My favorite is whatever Emma’s favorite is. Right now, she likes big slides. (Danger is her middle name.)

Lee Sonko, 41

Profession: Teacher and artist

Neighborhood: Mission

When was the last time you were on a swing?

Three or four years ago in the middle of the night. Before that it was 25 years.

What is your first swinging memory?

In my West Milford, N.J., elementary school playground. We had a giant swing set.

How do you feel when you are swinging on a swing?

A little dizzy. A lot free. A little in control. A little out of control. Ridiculously silly.

Other favorite piece of playground equipment?

There was this spinning table thing; sort of a merry-go-round. It was a 4-foot circular table that you spun around and it always felt really dangerous to be on that because you’d spin so fast and then fly off into the mulch.


*except for the great/crashed OKCupid date, but I digress

And I have to say thank you to to Simone Davalos of Suicidebots et all for posting the event to Squidlist. It was just my kind of event :-). Paolo and Jennifer are terrific.

One Comment

  1. friscolex says:

    Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing! Considering a swingset for my backyard hahaahah.

    Also, last time I checked there was one of those spinning merry-go-round things at Dougland Park, but yeah, that was many years ago before they made all the playgrounds “safe” (=”boring”). Oh wait I think there’s one at Randall Museum, too, which also has very cool view-tastic swings. I sense some field trips coming up when I return!! :-)

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