Aeolian Ride is an international event where public art meets cycling. Up to 100 riders sign up free online to meet and ride bicycles in sculptural costumes which inflate as they ride, transforming the landscape. The original ride was founded for adults and has now expanded to kids. Founded in 2004, by artist Jessica Findley, the ride has inflated 23 times in 18 cities around the world.
Aeolian Ride is a public art work which makes the public themselves into the artwork. The ride is free to the public and is both a spectator and participant activity. Up to 100 riders sign up free online to meet and ride bicycles in sculptural costumes which inflate as they ride, transforming the landscape.
The effect is a sort of joy loop. Those riding feel the joy of being a child – to play freely, and those watching are captured by the spectacle and return the joy to the rider.
This project is an homage to people, bikes, wind, the contagious power of joy and making the impossible possible. The shapes catch the energy one feels the first time riding a bike. The worker’s commute, the neighborhood street, the everyday bike lane, transformed into a dynamic landscape which temporally changes the public memory of the environment.
The ride was originally designed in-part in response to the trauma which took place on September 11th. The project was a small counter to the senseless acts of violence which ended in sadness with senseless acts of art which cause joy. The ride was created as a project which could not exist without the support of the people
The costumes are designed to catch the wind as the rider moves. The original ride was designed in white ripstop nylon – to add contrast to the chaos of the streets around them. There 3 original shapes, bubble, bunny and drop. In 2012 the first kids costumes, designed from colorful recycled parachutes, took their first spin at Rockaway Beach with the Rockaway waterfront Alliance kids. All costumes were designed and made by artist, Jessica Findley, who’s work explores ideas of play via unusual use and altering space, often in public spaces. Her projects, often temporal or kinetic, evoke emotion and curiosity blurring the line between spectator and participant.
Since 2004 the ride has inflated 24 times in 20 cities around the world with the help of the local communities:
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, 07.28.12
GOVERNOR’S ISLAND, NEW YORK, 06.10 & 11.12
ROCKAWAY BEACH, BROOKLYN, 05.19.12
AEOLIAN ISLAND, VULCAN SICILY, 07.16.11
RIA DE AVEIRO, PORTUGAL, 07.02.11
BREMEN, GERMANY, 10.30.10
LISBON, PORTUGAL 10.07.10
SAN JOSE, 09.18.10
LISBON, PORTUGAL, 11.10.09
SANTA BARBARA CALIFORNIA, 10.01.09
BRIDGEPORT, CT, 05.30.09
TOKYO, JAPAN, 05.16.09
MILAN, ITALY 11.27.09
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 09.08.07
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA 09.10.06
MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA 03.11.06
LOS ANGELES 09.10.05
CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 01.15.04
SAN FRANCISCO 10.10.04
The ride has received grants from The Blackrock Arts Foundation, The Brooklyn Arts Council as well as Green Prix. Local rides were usually sponsored by local arts, cycling, business and grassroots funding. For a full list see www.aeolian-ride.info