WASHINGTON — D.C.’s indoor “ocean” is moving to a new home next week, and a District arts collective is looking for volunteers to help with the process.
The BEACH, a large-scale art installation at the National Building Museum, will be repurposed by Dupont Underground for a second installation and a design contest. But before that can happen, the 10,000 square-foot installation, filled with more than 650,000 plastic balls, has to be moved.
Dupont Underground is looking for volunteers to help pack up the balls, load them onto trucks, and unload them into the underground art space.
The collective has set up an Eventbrite page where volunteers can reserve tickets (they’re free) as a way of signing up for shifts.
If ticket “sales” are anything to go by, this daunting task is pretty popular: The final task — pouring the balls into the space — has already “sold” out. A few other shifts have as well, so if you’re interested in volunteering, sign up now.
Those looking to volunteer should read event descriptions carefully before signing up. The boxes of balls will be moved “conveyor belt-style” into the underground space, according to the event page. There’s no conveyor belt down there, but the sheer strength of 25 volunteers passing boxes hand-to-hand should do the trick.
If you’ve never heard of Dupont Underground, it may be because the arts collective is actually underground. Dupont Underground is turning the abandoned trolley station under Dupont Circle into a space for art, design, performances and pop-up shops from creative types in the area.
To recycle the BEACH balls, Dupont Underground is organizing a design competition to accompany an installation at the art space.
Representatives from the National Building Museum, Dupont Underground and the D.C. art scene will serve as judges for the contest.
Chase Rynd, president and executive director of the National Building Museum, said in a press release about the partnership that the BEACH balls will not go to waste.
“From the beginning of this unique installation, we looked for ways to ensure that the building materials would be either reused for educational and creative purposes, or recycled.”
Created by the architecture collective Snarkitecture, The BEACH’s “ocean” has attracted more than 120,000 visitors since it opened on July 4.
The BEACH will close on Monday, Sept. 7, and volunteers will begin packing balls that afternoon. Unfortunately, tickets to the installation are no longer available, but those who missed the original installation should stay tuned for Dupont Underground’s reincarnation.