TRANSPOSITION + Collaboration in the District

When TRANSPOSITION: Over Many Miles premiered in the Miami Design District in December 2014, not even the artist Paula Crown could have imagined the iterations and collaborations that this installation would inspire.  Over the past year Crown has been reinventing the piece on the corner of NE 1st Avenue at 39th Street each season and exploring new ways of interacting with visitors and the community. 

Music filled the streets in the winter of 2015 as fellows of the New World Symphony performed on site followed by an interactive performance in March by Miami-based choreographer Marissa Alma-Nick who created a unique dance inspired by the installation.

After turning over the space for these two performances Crown began to wonder what would happen if the collaborations were visual and involved objects that viewers could interact with and even take home. 

Transposition: Paula Crown

Summer of 2015 saw thousands of brightly colored rubber balls fill the installation. Each ball was branded with the lighthearted phrase “Have a Ball” encouraging visitors to play with them on-site and to literally have a ball to take home with them. The balls became the inspiration for a neighborhood summer kick-off event that encouraged kids and grown ups alike to come out and “play” at TRANSPOSITION. 

Transposition: Paula Crown

The community collaborations continued in the fall with students of the neighboring Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH) dispersing close to 90,000 pounds of autumn leaves at TRANSPOSITION.  This activity was both a visual reminder of the passing of time and a nod to the evolution of space. It also brought an experience to a community that does not witness first hand the changing leaves and vivid fall colors seen elsewhere. 

Transposition: Paula Crown

December 2015 saw yet another new element added to the piece from the artist: luminescent fiberglass and resin sculptures that resemble icebergs. Titled “Dragon Ridge,” these sculptures were created after a helicopter tour of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains – the area that served as the original source of material for this body of work.

Now on the cusp of Spring, the site and its “Dragon Ridge” sculptures welcome the return of the Alma Dance Theater. Alma-Nick spent extensive time with Crown and in her company’s upcoming performance it pays homage to the physical and artistic journey of the art installation. 

“The inspiration for this performance came from my very first conversation with Paula Crown,” explains Alma-Nick.  “We talked about art, ideas and new ways of thinking.  When I began listening to her and letting the essence of who she is as a woman and artist wash over me. I also couldn't let go of this image of Paula in a helicopter as she sketched what she saw below her.  The idea of being lifted into the sky and embarking on a journey in new terrain—and the feeling of exploration, journey and discovery—all came into play.”

At every juncture the artist has invited others to interpret and adopt TRANSPOSITION as a catalyst for new work.  Featured events include Alma Dance Theater on Saturday, March 5 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; The New World Symphony on Saturday, March 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; Family Day on Sunday, April 10 from 1 to 3 p.m.  and finally, a Farewell Celebration in May. For more information, visit