Anyone who is ridden a subway in a major urban area – New York City perhaps most of all – knows that it is difficult to phase your fellow underground-goer. Drum circles, pan handlers, most folks have seen it all – but a rapidly deployed rope swing or secret backpack swing?
The first example is from a recent excursion on the BART trains of San Francisco, where three rope swings were installed and bystanders (or sitters as the case may be) were encouraged to join in the fun.
The simple rope swing designs were patterned after traditional back-yard tree swings with a single colored wooden seat suspended between a rope on either side. The artist below, however, took things a step further with her swing art installations. When it’s all packed up, Caroline Woolard’s swing looks like an ordinary bag.
This stealthy swing bag has gone through ten iterations over the years, has been repeatedly used by its creator on the way to work and is even available for custom creation and purchase. It’s a pretty cool way to bring some levity to a public place, not to mention fun.
In the words of the artist: “Here is my swing for the subway, disguised as a bag. With 1000 mesh L-train grey cordura, webbing, sliders, hooks, velcro, and snaps, I constructed a bag using industrial sewing machines (with help from an industrial sewing company). The bag transforms from a backpack, handbag, or book bag of with adjustable straps that hook around the handrail of the subway.”
More information about artist Caroline Woolard:
“Caroline Woolard (b.1984) is an American artist who, in making her art, becomes an economic critic, social justice facilitator, media maker, and sculptor. Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, Woolard has catalyzed barter communities, minted local currencies, founded an arts-policy think tank, and created sculptural interventions in office spaces. Woolard has inspired a generation of artists who wish to create self-organized, collaborative, online platforms alongside sculptural objects and installations. “