RedBall Project rolls down Toledo street

A New York City artist's RedBall art installation has popped up around the world, but on its latest stop the giant inflatable art piece went rogue and rolled down a city street.

It's the first time the giant inflatable ball has been knocked loose since its creation in 2001

The art installation known as the RedBall Project, pictured in this screen capture from a YouTube video, rolls down a downtown Toledo street. (Jeremy F/YouTube)

A New York City artist's RedBall art installation has popped up around the world, but on its latest stop the giant inflatable art piece went rogue and rolled down a city street.

Brooklyn-based Kurt Perschke created the piece, which weighs 113 kilograms and stands 4.5 metres tall, in 2001. The project debuted in St. Louis, Mo.

Artist Kurt Perschke created the RedBall project in 2001. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

The RedBall Project then travelled around the world.

It has popped up in Barcelona, Sydney, Taipei, Abu Dhabi, Lausanne and Paris.

A huge red ball is installed on the Simone de Beauvoir's bridge in Paris April 20, 2013. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)
The RedBall Project installed on the 'escaliers de Bel-Air' in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 3, 2013. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone/Associated Press)

It's also made stops in two Canadian cities.

It stopped by in Toronto in June 2008.

And it came back to Canada with a Montreal visit in 2014.

Most recently, the ball travelled to Toledo, Mo., on Aug. 14.

That's where it went on a bit of an adventure on Friday.

A gust of wind blew the inflatable ball out of its place and it rolled down the streets of downtown Toledo.

A video taken from a rooftop captured the ball rolling past several parked cars — with people, including Perschke's assistant, chasing after it.

This is the first time the RedBall escaped, Perschke said in a Reddit ask me anything thread after the incident. Usually, the installation is held in place using the day's site as an anchor and air pressure, he wrote.

But, that day, the weather had a different plan.

"A storm came in really fast. The wind built up behind the ball and popped that sucker like a champagne cork!" he wrote.

The runaway installation didn't cause much damage, only "one bent street sign," Perschke said.

The car the RedBall rolls against in the video was not damaged, he said.

"I was very relieved no one was hurt."

To skeptics who claim Perschke planned the incident to raise publicity for his project, he said: "Ummm if I could make that happen that would be something, but how did I make it take a left turn?"

The next day, Perschke said they used ropes to keep the ball in place. He hoped it would help the ball keep a lower profile that day.

Other precautions were also in place while transporting it from one location to the next.

Sunday is the project's last day in Toledo. In the fall, the RedBall project will travel to France.


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