Social Basket Case

An experiment in emergent, participatory public art

"Social Basket Case" was a social sculpture that served as an experimental, participatory public art sculpture that collected participants hopes, fear, dreams, and goals. Resembling a giant, colorful basket, the Social Basket Case took shape by being woven by the public; being unwoven and rewoven as the day passed. Eight of basket staves or ribs displayed one question relating to hopes, fears, dreams, and goals. Participants could grab one end of a colorful weaver to weave an answer to the chosen question. Once all strands are woven, the giant basket becomes a physical and sculptural means for data visualization.

The experimental sculpture was installed as a 3-part installation series with the Asian Art Museum and their Village Artist Corner artist residency program.


The ways in which this sculpture is woven by the public reflect on how we as individuals deal with life's ups and downs. The giant "basket" is made of eight sections, each section having unique, and some reportedly profound, questions that various passersby may answer on their own by taking an unwoven strand of the basket and weaving it to their answer to the question. 

Yes, no, or maybe? 

How one answers helps weave the basket.

As time goes by, answers and stories get woven and the emergent weaving of the basket reveals how people answer some questions the same (or not) and help visualize how we are not all alone in some challenges we face regarding our hopes, dreams, fears, and goals.