An exciting milestone has been reached! The first GLOBALL prototype has been milled by my friend Ethan Pollack in Seattle, Washington, USA. Stay tuned to watch it become a finalized ball. 

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GLOBALL is an opportunity for the public at-large to reclaim art back unto itself. Art for art’s sake is a dying imperative, and subsequently, so is the role of its reception, which qualifies and signifies the value of art.

The art of GLOBALL is in how it harnesses the human spirit and relies on ideals of humanism to sustain its existence. It’s empowering, inclusive and implicitly takes on the task of determining through the tension between viewer, subject and object.

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- Janet Alexander

Read more.

The IndieGoGo Campaign has ended, but you can still see what the project is all about AND donate below by clicking the golden PayPal button. Thank you!!

thank you! Indiegogo campaign ends to great success!

I’m very happy to announce that the IndieGoGo campaign has ended and I couldn’t be happier. We raised over $3,200, a fantastic nest egg and made over 100,000 impressions. The campaign featured dozens of friends in the videos and online campaign and my “perks peeps” came through with flying colors. I’m very excited to continue with the project so please stay tuned for updates. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

GLOBALL: The Art of Connecting by Janet Alexander

Friend of GLOBALL Janet Alexander wrote a fantastic article that just broke at www.GALOmagazine.com. I am so excited to share this interview with you!

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Ms Alexander writes:

The last time GALO Magazine spoke with Brooklyn artist Oliver Warden, he was between two worlds: the virtual world of video game-based art and the reality of art world skeptics. Now, little more than a year since, his newest artistic endeavor seems to be the world itself, best described as global, or as Warden aptly calls it, GLOBALL.

Unprecedented in both its scope and origins, Warden’s most ambitious project to date is summarized by a single question, “Can we pass seven beautifully made wooden balls, hand to hand, person to person, around the world?” In keeping with a hallmark of Warden’s body of work, GLOBALL challenges both the form and function of its medium, or as Warden explained last September, “I want to destroy your idea of what art is; it’s my lifelong ambition.” Put simply, GLOBALL is a social network composed of people among whom seven wood-crafted balls are exchanged indefinitely. Put less simply, GLOBALL engages relationship forming as an art form. In a similar vain to the so-called, “art of living,” GLOBALL challenges people to enact the “art of connecting” — in a time when social connection is as accessible and instant as ever online, GLOBALL is a decidedly contrarian effort to revitalize relationships founded in the traditional custom of exchanging a gift. GLOBALL’s innovation is in how the gifts are uniform and self-consciously a part of a larger network. Fundamental to any of Warden’s work is how it is distinctively illusory — a simple plan surrounding complex ideas.

Relying on the most basic definition of art as a means of communication, GLOBALL explores how a social network is a means of communication in and of itself. Not surprisingly, the novelty of such an idea as visionary as GLOBALL has quickly garnered a variety of media attention, including a recent interview from Amanda Browder atBad at Sports, as well as ArtInfo. In order to engineer the Web site and the balls — made from wood that is to be sourced from all seven continents — Warden is hoping to raise $20,000 through an Indiegogo campaign, which ends on November 26th. If all goes according to plan, Warden will be hosting a launch party in New York City — a tight-knit group of only friends, from which he’ll hand off the balls — in late January, early February.

Ever since the first grade, when he memorably created a one-point perspective drawing at the age of five, Warden has dedicated himself to crafting wholly visionary causes. And his extraordinary ability to see something for what it is as much as for what it could be through art is no more self-evident than in hearing him explain GLOBALL.

GALO: It can be said that GLOBALL involves a kind of performance art, and it is certainly interactive, yet it is markedly different from what you’ve done before. How and when did the idea for this project come about?

Oliver Warden: I don’t know, because GLOBALL, unlike all my other ideas, didn’t have a Eureka moment, or at least I can’t remember what it is [if there was one]. But instead, it was a combination of all these things in my life coming together at a certain time. Around 2008, the recession hits; I’m still going on [President] Barack Obama’s hope, still optimistic, I’m coming off a project that is very dark — a Columbine themed feature-length film based off a video game — and I think GLOBALL is the opposite of that. It’s hopeful and optimistic. I was having tough times in my personal life. And I saw this weird moment in 2008, when Facebook was awesome, but there was starting to be something missing… Read more here

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Please contribute to this campaign here. 

SOCIAL CONNECTION, DONE BY YOU!

How do you define terms such as “friend” “share” and “follow”? GLOBALL asks you to define them on your own terms by re-inserting meaningful, In-Real-Life connection with the VERY GOOD FRIENDS in your life. To support this project, on it’s last weekend of funding, please go to IndieGoGo and make a contribution. 

SHARE

GLOBALL ASKS WHO ARE YOU TRULY CONNECTED TO? By Melea Seward

I love and adore and loathe and abhor the internet. How is it that we can feel so connected to the world and disconnected from ourselves if we’re not careful?

My friend, artist Oliver Warden, has a project on the crowd funding site, Indiegogo, called GLOBALL, which among other things, is trying to reclaim the word SHARE. Globall is participatory art that is both playful and introspective–a meditation on gifting and connectedness that also resembles a game. Globall “combines aspects of performance art, social media, chain letters, mass gift-giving, and something like a Guinness World Record attempt”.

Oliver is sourcing wood from all over the world and making that wood into seven pieces of art — seven wooden balls with pictograms that ask people to share the ball — to give Globall to a very good friend.

If all goes according to plan, the wooden balls will travel around the world while their trajectory is mapped by a website that tracks them and their temporary stewards, online. So the act of sharing a Globall becomes a participatory social network.

In an interview with the terrific site, ArtInfo, Oliver says, “There is no sense of loss or sacrifice when you share something [online]. You share information, links, pictures, and so on, but you don’t actually forfeit anything. With GLOBALL, I am giving you a unique piece of art… but instead of asking you to keep it and enjoy it, I am asking you to reinsert your own meaning by giving it to a “VERY GOOD FRIEND,” as the instructions say. To fulfill that, you’ll have to ask yourself a deeper question about what “friend” means. I’m asking you to not only give away your GLOBALL but give your friend the gift of giving as well. In doing so, GLOBALL will ask you who you are truly connected to.”

Share globall.

by Melea Seward

Globall perks! felt ornament from craftspring

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It was late last year that I officially became a “booth dude” (like a trade show booth babe, just harrier). It was for a supercute company called Craftspring. Created by my buddy Anne Py, Craftspring makes and sells cute little ornaments, stuffed animals and thingies, all made out of felted wool, which are sourced and created in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia. I was happy to be able to sell these things because like all well designed and perfectly made crafts, they sold themselves. It was downright easy! The other cool thing is that they were all made in the spirit of fair trade. Anne won a fellowship to study small businesses by women in Asia several years ago and met all the women she now works with. Those women, who are amazing artisans and crafts people, work throughout the year making the best, most adorable things you’ve ever seen. Every summer, Anne returns to Kyrgyzstan and works with them for four months. It’s kind of amazing. I found the whole thing inspiring and wanted to capture some of its spirit with GLOBALL. Check out their goods at www.cacraftspring.com.

Side note: I am lucky in that Anne suggested we make a GLOBALL ornament. WooT! They and many other perks are available at indieGoGo right now! 

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Inspiration Sunday: WeAreLucky.com

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I decided to look around for design inspiration for my GLOBALL website and came across something more awesome than I could’ve ever expected. I felt downright lucky!

www.we-are-lucky.com is the brain child of a very interesting guy. I don’t know who he is or what he looks like, few people do, but he’s doing something noteworthy. A few years ago, he came across a whole lotta money. After buying a ticket to outer space, he realized that maybe he could do something even cooler with his money… make other people’s dreams come true. At random, on any given day, he gives away 1,000 pounds to absolute strangers. The only contingency? Do something with the money to make the world a better place. Awesome.
I couldn’t believe it…I was just looking for a cool website and came across this one. Like a long lost brother I had found someone who understood the importance, nay, power of sharing. You have something valuable and it’s a recession so what do you do with it? Give it away!

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On his website, he has a profile for all his recipients. This is something that inspired me, along with the same suggestion made by Melea. You can see my version on the video

Thank you Mr. Lucky, I hope to hear stories like yours, touch people like you’ve touched and, well, keep the ball rolling.

Please help GLOBALL feel lucky by donating to our IndieGoGo campaign!

All photos from the WeAreLucky website.

TIKI Dance

How Two Ships Inspired GLOBALL.

Inspiration comes from a lot of places and sometimes the same place twice. Years ago my father told me of an oceanic adventure. There was once a brave man, with a very cool name: Thor Hyeredahl. See? I told ya! In the 50s, Thor had an idea that ancient people had migrated to the Polynesian Islands in the Pacific ocean not from Southeast Asia as was commonly thought, but from South America. It was a preposterous idea at the time. But because, of all things, similarities in the art of both regions, he theorized that they must of migrated from the West coast of the Americas over 5,000 miles on sailing ships. His only solution? Prove it! 

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So, he gathered a small group of very courageous, possibly crazy Norwegians to turn his theory into fact. After building a giant balsa wood raft called the Kon-Tiki (named after the island God) and overcoming whale sharks, flying fish and no chance of rescue, they made it. It was the adventure of a lifetime, caught in stills and turned into an Academy Award winning film as well as a best selling book. 

Decades later another brave man, mimicked Thor’s epic journey with an agenda befit for today’s sensibilities. David de Rothschild, environmentalist and explorer, set out to prove a point. This one was about the Earth itself and how man is wreaking havoc on it’s great oceans. Taking a different Pacific route than the Kon-Tiki, Mr. Rothschild and his daring crew sailed a plastic ship called the Plastiki through what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. At roughly the size of Texas, a field of plastic bits floats in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. David’s mission was to bring awareness to that patch, by sailing the Plastiki (which was made entirely of nearly 12,000 recycled bottles and materials reused from other sources), through it to investigate.

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I followed his trip with fervent attention and bought the book, which he signed for me, once their adventure was finished. It thrilled me to no end during the summer of 2010.

Like Thor, David found a reason to explore that befit his time. Thor looked to the past to solve a mystery, and David looked to the future in the hopes of saving it. I think it was David’s contemporary take on exploration that was so interesting to me. As Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” His “new eyes” found a reason to go again, take one more look and ask new questions. Both of these voyages inspired my journey to keep GLOBALL afloat.