Automatic Sliding Doors to Nothing

Check out this pair of grocery-store-style automatic sliding doors in the middle of a park in Long Island City. They work like your standard automatic doors, sliding open when anyone approaches, but unlike a grocery store, these doors mark not the threshold between you and your produce. Rather, they separate nothing from nada. They nicely frame the view of Roosevelt Island from Socrates Sculpture Park, but that’s about the limit of their functionality.

Except! It’s a real joy to watch people pause for a second as they cross through the doors, wondering to what, exactly, is this stretch of lawn an entrance. The whole thing is just so goddamn whimsical I can barely take it. According to Kim Beck, who created the piece along with Osman Khan, the piece includes “a nod to the dichotomy of desire and difficulty that the erection of barriers and fences create,” which: yeah, okay. But I’m sure she squealed a bit with glee the first time someone passed through the door cautiously.