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Winding Down the Charles

Each year the Cambridge River Festival is held in celebration of The Charles River.Winding Down the Charles was an interactive installation located along the banks of the River done in collaboration with Scott Tiede and Kelly Kaczynski. Over the course of two consecutive festivals the artists and Cambridge residents wound up 251 spools of string, equaling the 78.4 miles of the Charles from its origin to its outlet into Boston Harbor.

The spools of string were set along the river-bank and threaded through five 10’ steel Needle Towers. The artists and Cambridge residents attending the River Festival continuously wound the string, day and night, into a growing ball.

To wind up the 78.4 miles of string took two consecutive River Festivals. Each year, the ball was wound day and night for over forty hours, adding up to total of 87 hours of winding. In the first year 38 miles of string were wound. The following year in 1998 the entire river was wound up, creating a 37”, 550 lb ball, which is now mounted in a cart for display.

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