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


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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