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La chose est faite

May 5, 2011

I feel like that’s a French phrase, but it may not be, in which I’m just being obnoxious. THE THING IS DONE.

By which I mean, of course, I AM NOWHERE NEAR DONE, but I am committed to the route I have chosen. As Rebecca wisely pointed out long ago, “first is best” and in any case the point is, I needed to get this out of my system.

This is super long post so much to go through:

  • description of it physically
  • background
  • meaning
  • things to work out

Sorry I wish I had time to figure out how to put in anchors, I’m sure it’s super easy but it’s 2:53 am, so we have to push forward for now without them.

Anyways this is just the beginning. (Just the beginning of a maximally 24-hr journey of course, as the thing is due Friday). It’s a Memorial to the Lost American Expanse (wording very much in progress) and it’s three billboards which are mirrors. Right now, one is pointed at the sky, another at the Bright Angel Trail (one of the most popular trails in the Grand Canyon), the other at the another part of the strata. They’d be seen from the top but in the scheme of things are actually quite small. In fact, I worry they may even be too small, consider a zoomed out image:


To be clear, unlike Times Canyon, this is a REAL proposal, insofar as reality goes — to actually build these, rather than just see them through viewfinders. Originally I wasn’t enthusiastic about putting billboards into the Grand Canyon, but honestly, once you understand the scale of development that is currently going on in the Grand Canyon, three billboards which only amplify the surroundings seem the least of one’s concerns.

crowd grand canyon

Ok. There’s so much to say. First of all, I want to say, I do think SketchUp/Google Earth is the best way to go with this, because I haven’t been able to find any good photos of the wall I need and because also, frankly, I am a terrible Photoshop-meister. Nonetheless, I do find that the quality of the images is currently not evocative of the beauty I _truly, 100 percent, not kidding_ do think is in this. So I may end up bolstering with Photoshop.

Consider a good example of some good mirror art:mirror art

Also I want to add a fascinating aside that this idea comes partly from Chantal who mentioned that her mother is an artist (Raquel Schwartz) who had installed a mirror billboard in the center of I think La Paz:

raquel schwartz mirror billboard

Which Chantal had actually mentioned in class last time for _someone else_ but the second she said my brain started working and I couldn’t stop thinking about using mirrors. Then the other day I woke up with the image in my head so that was great, but I kept waffling on a few other issues….

ANYWAYS. Here we are.

As for the meaning, the point is the Grand Canyon symbolizes this Expanse which is ultimately being lost as tourists inevitably come to see this amazing thing. The mirrors are a simple memorial to this loss. They are in glass panes so there is a reference to skyscrapers. Nothing too haranguing.


Ok things to work out:

  • scale. I want things to be noticeable, but I did want something tasteful; this size might actually be about right
  • why billboards. I freely admit right now that the billboard shape is a bit arbitrary; the key thing here is the mirrored aspect and the glass panes a la skyscrapers.
  • the organization of them and if they need internal hierarchy. I like them haphazard like this but…
  • NAMING. Actually this might be the absolute crucial thing to do. I think naming could really bring this together.

Ok, but I am super excited actually that this is happening, that I actually thought of an intervention in the Grand Canyon I can stand behind and find beautiful and also that this reflection thing which I’ve sort noticed in the fall and wanted to use for a while but couldn’t figure out how to.

But reflections in skyscrapers are actually super hot:

One Comment leave one →
  1. anna permalink
    May 5, 2011 5:02 pm

    as i was saying: “les jeux sont faits” might be just the thing, and possibly accurater.

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