Since I wasn’t able to attend a reading this semester, I went to the MoMa for the second time in my life. Museums of art have never really been my thing, but there were several interesting sculptures that stood out and made me think about why they were created and put into this museum. One of the pieces that really interested me was the Mine Kafon wind-powered deminer by Massoud Hassini, who created a weird-looking spherical ball seemingly made of metal pipes.
When I first saw it, I couldn’t understand what was so special about this piece, apart from maybe it’s unique look. After reading the information on this piece, I learned that Hassini made toys powered by wind out of whatever he could find back in his hometown in war-torn Afghanistan. He started out making smaller versions of this toy to race with his friends, but sometimes these toys would end up rolling into a minefield and get blown up. Later on when he was in design school, he remembered his wind-driven toys and started building them bigger and with durable material. He designed them so that they could be used to navigate, through GPS chips, across minefields and detonate mines. Because of their design, even if they were destroyed, some parts could be salvaged and reused for another “deminer”. His design ended up being tested by the Dutch army for its creativity, cheapness, and reconstructive abilities.
I found it really inspiring how an idea of a young boy who just wanted to have a toy to play with could end up serving such a big purpose for an army. Who knew that a seemingly typical art piece in a museum can have such a history and effect on a society? Without reading into the background of the piece, one can just assume that it’s another sculpture that is only unique in its look. This was definitely one of the more interesting pieces for me in the museum and I hope that there will be more art work with a history and effect like this piece.