People are confused and mesmerized by Pershing Square’s new art installation

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Paris-based firm Agence Ter has already been selected to undertake a massive redesign of Pershing Square, but it looks like all the much-maligned park needed was a giant, shimmering art installation to turn it into a thriving public space. Since July 28, when it made its debut at the Downtown LA park, Patrick Shearn’s “Liquid Shard” sculpture has been hypnotizing visitors and popping up in countless social media posts.

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A photo posted by Katherine Magistrale (@kathymagistrale) on Aug 6, 2016 at 10:26pm PDT

The mesmerizing sculpture was commissioned by LA’s Recreation and Parks Department, along with public art nonprofit Now Art LA. Shearn, who has created memorable installations at Coachella with his Poetic Kinetics design studio, worked with students from the AA Visiting School Los Angeles in constructing and installing the sculpture. Consisting of mylar strips fastened to ropes and affixed to the park’s distinctive bell tower, the glimmering sculpture floats and slithers above the park, carried about in the breeze.

Since it was completed, people from around the city have been heading to Pershing Square to see the sculpture in action. Social media users, initially surprised by the sculpture’s appearance, seem to have fully embraced it. They have struggled to find words for the installation, comparing it to everything from a silver cloud to a dragon to a school of sardines.

Even the sculpture’s commissioners have been surprised by its popularity. Kevin Regan, Assistant General Manager at Recreation and Parks, tells the LA Timeshe’s hoping to keep “Liquid Shard” up past August 11, when it’s scheduled to come down. “It’s cool that so many people are enjoying it,” he says.

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