Saturday, December 10, 2022
    HomeWorldGiant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road

    Giant baubles hurtle through London’s Tottenham Court Road


    LONDON — ’Twas the month before Christmas.

    All through the city, revelers mingled; the lights looked pretty.

    Then suddenly, out of nowhere — giant ornaments bounced near Soho Square.

    The scene looked straight out of a dystopian holiday movie as two huge, silvery orbs hurtled toward people on one of the busiest streets of the British capital, propelled by howling wind and driving rain. Cars and bicycles swerved out of the way.

    The orbs progressively shed their mirrored coating until a core of white remained, according to videos captured by onlookers and shared on social media.

    While many assumed the orbs were giant Christmas baubles that had somehow come loose during Storm Claudio, which hit France and the United Kingdom this week, they were part of a temporary art installation set up in central London to promote a music duo’s new album.

    The installation, named “Four World Set” and created by American artist Tom Shannon, was set up Sunday night and meant to be on display until Saturday on St. Giles’s Square, near Tottenham Court Road.

    Online, the footage sparked reactions ranging from apparent joy to absolute disbelief, as some wrote songs and poems to orbs running amok.

    For some, the orbs brought up memories of the 1960s British TV series “The Prisoner,” which featured a large white sphere named Rover with the power to hinder people’s movements. Others joked that the scene reminded them of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” when Harrison Ford, playing Indiana Jones, is chased down a tunnel by a giant boulder.

    “Imagine going home telling how you were nearly run down by a giant bauble, Indiana Jones style, and no one believing you until this video,” one Twitter user wrote. “Life is really weird right now,” wrote another, simply.

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    For those behind the installation, the news hit harder. Musician Kai Campos, one half of the electronic music duo Mount Kimbie, said he was “heartbroken” after wind caused at least two of the orbs to come loose.

    He said the team responsible for it had “prepared for bad weather and strong winds but just got really unlucky.”



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