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Photograph: Courtesy of Meriem Bennani, High Line and Audemars Piguet

This new sculpture on The High Line will spin around all year long

The motorized tornado won't stop swirling.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

New Yorkers taking walks on the High Line will be treated to a pretty cool kinetic public piece of art set to take up residence at 24th Street through May 2023.

"Windy," by Moroccan artist Meriem Bennani, is a 9-foot-tall structure made of about 200 black stacked foam discs that constantly rotate at different speeds and sequences. Think of it as a tornado that you can actually observe without the fear.

Co-commissioned by High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary, the installation kicks off this summer's art program in the elevated park and, perhaps most excitingly, it will rotate non-stop for an entire year—which is why the discs are made of lightweight UV-proof and waterproof foam to withstand all sorts of odd New York weather patterns.

Fun fact: according to an official description of the piece, "the foam was also meticulously managed and cut to avoid excess waste during the fabrication process." 

"Electrical bike motors comprise the spine of the sculpture and connect to each section of foam layers," reads the description of the public artwork. "Each engine is uniquely programmed by the artist so all sections spin at varying speeds and sequences, creating unique loops that never repeat." 

As for the meaning of "Windy," a mere gaze at the structure will remind you of, well, the city you're in—and that's not by accident.

"The frenetic movement of the sculpture captures the experience of walking through New York City’s crowded streets and the frequency of movement on the High Line, one of the city’s most visited public parks," reads an official press release. We can't argue with that one and are ever more proud to call this wonderful city ours. 

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