North Beach Augury

Finally got over to Broadway and Columbus to get some pictures of Brian Goggins and Dorka Keen’s installation Language of Birds.
Arriving at dusk is the best time to view if you can manage it.
You get to see them sputter to life, a few at a time, with the added bonus of getting to catch the reactions of pedestrians as they do.
Eventually they blend into the chaos of car lights and strip club neon signs that line Broadway.
There are twenty-three books suspended from the spiderweb of cables. At times all light up in unison, at others they alternate blinking on and off at random.
On the ground below you can find the inevitable word droppings.
According to the press release:

The artists created the text patterns to be imbedded in the plaza floor in the Atrium of the SFMOMA. Retaining their original font, individual words from chosen phrases were cast from the third floor gallery of the museum. Words fluttered down 60 feet landing on a paper replica of the plaza thus determining their resting place in the final artwork.

The books are constructed of white polycarbonate (plastic) with embedded LED lights.
Genny Lim composed a poem to accompany the piece that was read at the dedication ceremony in November. Check it out here.


2 Responses to “North Beach Augury”

  1. 1 Kathryn February 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Great photos! I tried to photograph this a few times myself and just didn’t really do a good job of it. Looks like you figured out the angles and lighting just right.

  2. 2 hideoussunday February 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks Kathryn! I was a little worried that they’d all end up looking like the one that showed up in the press reviews, so I just kept at it for a while. I think it’s just accepting that out of like 30 maybe there will be 2 or 3 that look okay. Also was a little worried about when it got dark. My camera is pretty low to mid-range- not really made for that stuff. Thanks for commenting!

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