In conjunction with New York-based real estate development firm Macro Sea, MOCA will present three code-compliant, street legal mobile dumpster pools in the Great Hall, the former garage where Tucson’s Fire Department No. 1 parked their fire trucks. With twelve roll-up doors and sixteen-foot-high ceilings, the Great Hall is the perfect setting for this unlikely but eminently appropriate endeavor. In accordance with its searing summers, Tucson is the ideal location for this combination of artful and inventive design and the pleasure of cooling off and swimming in unparalleled surroundings.
In 2009, Macro Sea, whose mission is to create unexpected value in underutilized spaces, transformed a junkyard in Brooklyn next to the Gowanus Canal into a lo-fi country club. They made three swimming pools out of thirty cubic-yard dumpsters, brought in lounge chairs and cabanas, and built a bocce court. Inviting their friends, they had pool parties in this improbable location, swimming in trash vessels repurposed in an unforeseen fashion. The pools became a magnet of media attention, with major articles in The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post, a host of international publications, and many design magazines. They were featured on NPR, and made appearances or were referenced on “The David Letterman Show,” “30 Rock,” and “One Life to Live.” Following the success of the 2009 version, Macro Sea was invited by the New York City Mayor’s Office and the Department of Transportation to participate in NYC’s Third Annual Summer Streets event. The iconic façade of Grand Central Station and the Park Avenue Viaduct was the backdrop for the first public mobile dumpster pool project. For three Saturdays in August 2010, hundreds of New Yorkers swam in pools that were unloaded off trucks, filled with water, plugged in, and put to immediate use.
At MOCA Tucson the pools will generate a platform and singular context for summer programming, which will include film screenings, concerts, dance and circus productions, and other above-and-beyond events. The forward-thinking reuse and recycling of Macro Sea’s pools installed in MOCA’s Great Hall creates an environment for experiential enjoyment of water, performance, and fun.
The outcome of Macro Sea’s do-it-yourself gamble led to a blossoming of possibilities and ongoing projects, including their cathartic recycling interactive sculpture “Glassphemy!,” The New Lab at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, and major real estate ventures in Paris, Berlin, and Princeton. This spirit of innovation and the willingness to go out on a limb with improbable yet ultimately extremely viable ideas is in perfect keeping with MOCA Tucson’s mission to present cutting-edge contemporary art and foster a space, both physical and psychic, of experimentation and unrestrained imagination in downtown Tucson.
The Mobile Pools were generously donated to MOCA Tucson by Macro Sea.
Images by Andrew Brown.