From our wonderful Box Office intern Rebecca Roy:
The history of North Adams oozes from the walls of mass moca; layers of paint reveal past lives; brick cornices remind us of another time.¬† In a fittingly contemporary appropriation of space, MASS MoCA has become the setting for a dialogue with history, industry, and architecture.¬† From mill to factory to museum, MASS MoCA‚Äôs varied histories are reflected in the building itself as well as in its architectural and interior design. To many visitors, the most obvious of these fixtures is the box office desk.
Suspended from the ceiling by a spring at one end and balancing on the floor on a fulcrum at its midpoint, the box office desk is a unique reminder of MASS MoCA‚Äôs transformation from an industrial manufacturing mill to an art museum.¬† Designed and constructed by Mike Green, the desk is composed of fabricated steel from I beams, wooden columns, and the spring from an elevator shaft. Not only is the desk a functional sculpture and a document of MASS MoCA‚Äôs past, but it is a living, bouncing testament to change and resiliency.
As a visitor leans on the desk to ask a question or sign a receipt, they usually realize that the box office desk is more than a decoration or a work of art.¬† The desk actually oscillates, ¬†becoming a responsive and animated third party in the ticket selling process.¬† Temporary loss of balance or disorientation may occur. However,¬† upon discovering that our desk does indeed bounce, many visitors say that the desk reminds them of the Archimedes quote, ‚ÄúGive me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world.‚ÄĚ¬† And even though our desk can‚Äôt literally move the world, maybe the art inside the galleries can.