One Museum, 7,000 Inflatable Worlds

The Fowler celebrates its 50th with an extraordinary beach ball-laden exhibit.

Visually conveying huge numbers is a time-honored science class device, and a good one, too. If you need to show a large amount, nearly incomprehensibly large, the best route is very often creating a visual and whimsical way to convey the hugeness.

A beautiful and camera-ready example of this is on display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Artist Máximo González's "Walk Among Worlds" is indeed about walking among worlds, some 7,000 of them in all. And, nope, they're not the size of actual worlds but rather beach-ball-big.

Each world is, in fact, an inflatable ball designed to look like a globe. And what's the meaning behind the 7,000? The artist chose this number for a fine reason: Each globe represents "one million of the 7,000 million inhabitants of the planet."

Now you can picture it, right? Rather than numbers on a page, the thousands of globes bring the hard-to-wrap-the-mind-around-able amount to gorgeous life.

The installation, which is part of The Fowler's 50th anniversary celebration, can be found outdoors at the museum through Sunday, Nov. 3.

"The introduction of  human breath" is an interesting and symbolic part of the exhibit; no breath to blow up the balls, no globes. That's worth discussing as you and your party marvel at the many, many globes hung high around the museum.

The Fowler charges no admission, by the by. So a "Walk Among Worlds" is free to see.


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FOWLER AT FIFTY - "Walk among worlds" - installation by Maximo Gonzalez from Maximo Gonzalez on Vimeo.

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