The Talus Dome sculpture in Edmonton, Alberta is a world-renowned piece of public exhibition art. Comprised of nothing but silver balls, the piece sits along the side of the road and is a very unassuming piece of art. With no fence or even an easily visible sign to warn people not to touch the art is out there.
Connor Schwindt set out for a post-Easter dinner jog past the balls and heard a large commotion coming from the piece. Firefighters were working on extracting a man who had become stuck inside. Breaking out his phone, he began to document the incident. Looking inside, he noticed the man had begun to panic.
“It was kind of like watching a mouse fall into a bucket…He was just kind of running around inside of it starting to freak out because he couldn’t get out.”
According to a later police report, the man had climbed to the top of the structure, and that’s when he became trapped inside. To extract him, the firefighters had to remove one of the balls. Between their ball removal and the man’s climbing, there was significant damage done to the pile adorning the Quesnell Bridge and Fox Drive since 2011.
Schwindt wasn’t surprised to learn how quickly his video of the incident went viral. Seeing a guy trapped in there was strange but seeing the social media fallout is even stranger. I mean it’s so Edmonton. How polarizing the Talus Balls are is already funny and to have some dude slip inside there … I just thought it was humorous.”
Maintained by the Edmonton Arts Council is part of the City of Edmonton’s Public Art Collection. At a cost of $600,000 Canadian, it was designed by California-based artists Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues. Given the cost of shipping and materials has increased since 2011, it could easily cost the same initial price to repair the damage. Given the fact that the unnamed 26-year-old was only charged with one count of mischief over $5,000 and then released, it may prove to be an uphill battle to get him to pay for the damage.