"Language of Birds," a floating installation of 23 illuminated polycarbonate books at the corner of Broadway and Columbus avenues, has just been dubbed one of the best public artworks in America.
It was chosen from among 300 entries at the Americans for the Arts convention in Seattle last June.
Since it was installed last fall by San Francisco artists Brian Goggin with Dorka Keehn, the street corner has become focal point for art lovers and tourists.
The flock of twenty-three white translucent books are suspended from a web of stainless steel aircraft cables, and resemble birds in flight. The books are opened in various positions, which give the books the appearance of flying.
At night LED lights embedded within the books create visual patterns.
Goggin and Keehn worked with scientist David Shearer and Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Bookstore to provide solar power. The solar panels are mounted on top of the iconic bookstore, located half a block away.
The artists embedded words on the ground under the flock, to create the sensation that words had fallen from the pages. Working with shop owners and residents, the artists chose words from books that reflect the area's literary history, including works by Armistead Maupin, Gary Snyder, William T. Vollman, and Jade Snow Wong.
Goggin has been creating public artworks since 1991. He attracted national attention in 1997 with Defenestration, which features furniture falling from the windows and crawling down the sides of a 5-story South of Market tenement building. Goggin has created sculptures for the Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, the Sacramento International Airport, the Seattle Arts Commission, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Keehn hosts her own online arts and culture talk show, KEEHN ON ART. She is a sculptor, writer, photographer and the Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker OF CIVIL WRONGS AND RIGHTS: The Fred Korematsu Story.
Posted By: Meredith May (Email) | July 07 2009 at 09:01 AM