Posts Tagged ‘public art’

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class="post-8777 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-misc tag-los-angeles tag-photos tag-public-art tag-travel tag-triforium">

The Triforium

October 27th, 2019
Triforium

 

Easily the strangest thing in downtown LA is the Triforium, a concrete sculpture covered in colorful glass prisms in a public plaza, surrounded by government buildings.

The obvious question — what is this thing? — doesn’t have a simple answer.

Artist Joseph Young built the Triforium for the plaza. Originally the plan was for it to have a computer controlled system of lights to illuminate the prisms, to rhythmically illuminate it in sync with a carillon.

Oh, and it was supposed to be topped with a laser that projected straight up into space.

There was one problem: it was 1975, and the technology was too primitive to realize this vision successfully. Also, the laser was never installed as it was already over budget. LA Weekly has more details on its history.

The public apparently didn’t care for the Triforium much after a while, the sound was disabled, and as attention to LA’s urban core shifted outward, the Triforium was not only ignored, but the reflection pool under it was drained and replaced with plants.

Now that downtown LA has become a much more vibrant place again, with it is renewed interest in the sculpture. Twice over the past few decades there have been restoration efforts, adding a new sound system, a modern computer, and LED lights to illuminate the prisms.

 

Triforium at night

 

Unfortunately it’s still not always on, even at night. I took the photo on Saturday well after sundown at around 8 PM and it wasn’t doing anything. I suspect it’s only activated for special events.

Fortunately Curbed LA has several short videos of the Triforium back in action. I just wish I had the chance to see it working in person.

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class="post-8528 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-local tag-northbaytrip2019 tag-photos tag-public-art tag-santa-rosa tag-travel">

Cyclisk

July 8th, 2019

Cyclisk
 

Easily the strangest thing I saw on this trip was the “Cyclisk,” an obelisk made of around 340 damaged bicycles. It was created by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector as a public art project for Santa Rosa.

Ironically the statue is next to a car dealer and a car wash, but Grieve says “The statement is up to the viewer.” I’d also point out there are no bike lanes anywhere near the statue, and the street it’s located is even missing a sidewalk just north of it. So the meaning seems pretty clear… or is it?

If the nearby streets were rearranged with complete streets in mind, it would give the statue a completely different meaning. Perhaps in that context it could be seen as a call to action in its current state.

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class="post-5582 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-local tag-light-shows tag-public-art tag-salesforce-tower">

Salesforce Tower’s hat lights tested

February 13th, 2018

Salesforce Tower hat testing
 

Today for the first time I noticed the LED grid in the “hat” on Salesforce Tower was being tested. If you’re unaware, the top of the tower isn’t offices, but rather a light-based public art display. Visible throughout much of the city, this will be a big change to the skyline — weather permitting.

Now, it should be noted that San Francisco has a mixed reputation when it comes to permanent light-based art installations. While the Bay Lights have been successfully lighting up the Bay Bridge, the Promenade Ribbon along the Embarcadero didn’t last very long due to water damage. I mean, who could have foreseen water damage as a problem along the edge of the bay?

For that matter, the black rectangle that used to sit on the side of Moscone West was intended to be a light show of sorts, but didn’t work well and was eventually removed.

So let’s hope Salesforce Tower’s light artist Jim Campbell knows a thing or two about fog-proofing his designs or this new installation may flicker out as well.