Colorful and Calming 'Domino Effect' Invites You to Send It Tumbling Down

'Domino Effect' consists of 120 oversized "dominoes" across 12 tables that emit otherworldly sounds. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Feb. 10, 2024

The gentle rumble and cascading colors of “Domino Effect,” the interactive art installation that now draws passersby on the plaza in front of 28 Liberty Street, caused FiDi resident Catherine Clifford, on an errand, to stop. With a little push, she sent an oversized row of dominoes tumbling, bringing a satisfied smile to her face—and providing a moment of reflection.

Video by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib, with audio mixed from the "Domino Effect" installation

“A lot of people draw parallels in life to the domino effect of things,” she said. “What you do, whether you are conscious of it or not, has ramifications for other people, good or bad.”

There’s a domino effect, she added, “for almost everything in life.”

This “Domino Effect,” presented by the Downtown Alliance and created by the Montreal-based design studio Ingrid Ingrid, consists of 120 very oversized, domino-like objects across 12 tables that emit a variety of electronic sounds, creating an inviting, almost otherworldly atmosphere of after-dark light and sound. Workers in the building who cross the plaza on their way home, or others just passing by, often find themselves unexpectedly pausing to set off a domino effect of their own, then set them back up and do it again. The intention, too, is for visitors to work together, even compete, in the process of setting up the dominoes, then toppling them.

“I just like knocking them down from time to time. It’s stress relief,” said Kristi Mohamed, a security worker from the building who had stopped by the installation. “It’s supposed to be zen.”

When the project was installed, Mohamed said, she and others in the building first thought the dominoes would automatically right themselves. But no, it takes the effort of visitors to do that work, and there’s a lesson in that, she said. “It’s like rebuilding your life. Sometimes you have to knock a whole bunch of things down one by one in order to get the end result of something spectacular.”

And besides, she added, “Its just fun.”

“Domino Effect” will be in the 28 Liberty Street plaza until March 6.