Affects of Gravity

A Site-Specific, Public Intervention, 2009

Topsfield Agricultural Fair Midway, Topsfield, MA

Made in collaboration with poet Chris Tonelli

Duration: 3 Days
Affects of Gravity was a site-specific, intervention at the Topsfield Agriculture Fair Midway using the amusement park ride, “The Gravitron”, a centrifugal-force-based, anti-gravity ride. This project, a collaboration with poet, Chris Tonelli, brought selections from Tonelli’s chapbook, “For People Who Like Gravity and Other People” (Rope-a-Dope Press 2010), to fairgoers through an hour-long sound piece that I composed and installed in the amusement park ride itself.  The sound piece played on a loop for the three-day period of the installation, with Gravitron riders coming in and out of the narrative as the ride spun, slowed, stopped, and began again.

Affects of Gravity from Andi Sutton on Vimeo. 

The looped sound piece brought the inner voice of the Gravitron to life.  Fair-goers at the Topsfield Fair Midway, expecting to hear hip-hop, reggae, or Top 40 hits when inside the ride would instead hear the sound compositions, featuring the Gravitron’s pontifications about cycles of life, self, and finding meaning in its constant turns.

The piece was documented as a short film featuring the compositions, poems, and imagery of the gravitron and the fair.  It was distributed as a limited edition series of 100 with Tonelli’s chapbook by Rope-A-Dope press.


Excerpt from Tonelli’s chapbook: For People Who Like Gravity And Other People:


Chris Tonelli


Gravitron sees his own colored bulbs pulsing in the vacant dawn and realizes:

he is something that has never happened—an idea of the future had by the past. Ahh, the good


old-fashioned future Gravitron thinks to himself, feeling a sense of calm

wash over; existence is the same as non-existence. He knows that the sky in the puddle is as


endless as the sky in the sky. Filled with confidence, Gravitron imagines the

first potential rider walking through the gates and thinks get on…lean against the wall.