Visual Art

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

Discovery Green's latest public art exhibition, Los Trompos, is a kaleidoscopic twirl of nostalgia.

By Sara Samora November 16, 2015

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Through March 22, Discovery Green will act as a dizzying mosaic with the Texas debut of Los Trompos, a 20-piece visual art piece by Mexico City designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena.

Los Trompos—or spinning tops—was designed and developed during the duo’s second phase of their residency at High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Cadena grew up playing with trompos, or spinning toys, and said he and Esrawe wanted to remind the world that although technology is magnificent, so are the simple, nostalgic things in life.

“Our jobs as designers is to keep this tradition sort of alive,” Cadena said. “How can we bring los trompos into our conversation today? And by making these pieces, it’s an installation that talks about motion, that talks about dynamics, that talks about human interaction.”

The designs are fully interactive, allowing visitors to get inside and take a spin. It’s something for every one of all ages, and Cadena said it’s getting the kid inside out of us.

“They come alive with people,” Cadena said. “If people are not around them, they’re not living. They do not exist. Our work would be like quantum physics; if you’re not there to experience it, it doesn’t exist philosophically."

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He adds that joy is what they want to bring with Los Trompos to Houston. In addition to the design premiere, there will also be mariachis, ballet folklorico and food.

“As Mexican designers, we are always looking into our roots, toward our past, and trying to transform that, and our history to modern languages,” Cadena said. “We are always looking for simple and strong things to inspire us, but that would also have the capability of communicating very powerfully.”

The spinning tops are woven in the traditional style of used by Mexican artists, and the material consists of fabric such cotton and nylon. Furthermore, they used different types of materials through trial and error. Hence, there were a lot of improvements with the materials and the engineering.

"When you’re doing architecture, it’s not about the piece of art; it’s about adding spaces for humans," Cadena said. "But we like our work to be judged more on how people feel through our work, and connect to our work, more than how it works."

Los Trompos. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney.