proposal for a sculpture on a traffic circle University of Texas at El Paso
In most cases a sculpture is meant to be seen from all directions. Otherwise
it is a relief, which can only be viewed optimally from one side. And this
is what is so peculiar about a sculpture which is situated on a location
like a traffic circle. It, like a relief, is also seen from one direction
at a time - and, for a short period. Only slowly, as it is approached,
its plasticity becomes more explicit - and even more so the moment
you start your rotation around the traffic circle. During that short period
you see the sculpture up close from the inside.
Also, I read in the Q&A that the sculpture could possibly become an iconic object which could reflect the history, demographics, or geography of UTEP, and/or El Paso.
So here we have two different entities, but with comparable visual requirements:
1) a sculpture for a location where the viewer has to grasp the totality
of the form - in this case, in the few seconds that it takes to approach
and circumnavigate the traffic circle
In this respect there are the same prerequisites for both. In the case of a sculpture on a traffic circle, the peculiar thing is that (aside from people on foot who can be anywhere in the vicinity, parking their car for instance) it is approached from a limited number of directions - driving on the roads leading to the sculpture, one only sees its projection - its silhouette if you will; and in the case of this sculpture it is a two dimensional - a geometric shape. And only when you access the traffic circle the sculpture unveils itself - in a counter clockwise fashion - as a full three dimensional object. During the approach it projects itself as a more or less two dimensional form.
The sculpture, in the animations above, is seen from a higher point of view. But when one views it while approaching it frontally on one of the roads, it will project itself according to the position in which it has been installed. In one case it will show itself as an ellipse, gradually revealing the distance between the ends of the curves, marked by the horizontal connection between them.
But when, another time, it is approached from a perpendicular direction, the viewer is in for a surprise.
Two years after this proposal was presented in El Paso I was invited to realize it on a roundabout in the center of Finland. See the video below: