Search & Effect---2014
Sherman Plaza Self-Park/ Washington-National TIF District #4/ Evanston, Illinois
City of Evanston Public Art Program
The activated elevators+façade of this 12-storey parking structure become a gigantic symbol-system, through the motion-activation of spotlights, icons and inscriptions upon the façade and street below--—representing a range of intimate-to-global social/technical/economic systems within which humans exist.
This large-scale public sitework encompasses the entire high-rise structure. When a user enters an upper elevator lobby, a motion-detector triggers the spotlighting of symbolic pattern-icons on the curtain wall. Looking upward at the façade from the ground level, a viewer becomes more aware of the movement of the elevators up-and-down, as spotlight beams are focused downward to suggest searching.
In addition to the large-scale visual effect of the artwork from outside, there are areas for close-up engagement. The view outward from inside the elevator cabs is mediated by patterns of Text-Icons, to enhance the experience of looking out-ward over the city. Entering or exiting the elevators on the upper floors, building users trigger motion-activation of spotlights in the observation area, highlighting large-scale Pattern-Icons upon the surfaces of panels that face outward. Viewers can become further engaged by casting shadows of their bodies upon these surfaces, to assert a human presence. At ground level, passersby on the sidewalk encounter Silhouette+Shadow Inscriptions that are revealed by the spotlights of descending elevator cabs, encountering words that suggest unforeseen outcomes, consequences and impacts of ideation and creation upon individuals and broader society.
The large translucent space that the elevator cabs move up-and-down within can be thought of as a private, internalized domain of thought, where a user initiates entry into a metaphoric process of Search: initiating, envisioning, formulating, and articulating ideas; and Effect: the unforeseen outcomes, consequences and impacts upon individuals and society. The observation areas on the south corner of the structure are thought of as a more public, externalized domain of large-scale social systems—politics, economics, culture, technology, urbanism, communications and media—and the individual potential for accomplishment and recognition we find within these mediated systems.
Constructed of aluminum, acrylic-resin panels, tempered glass, and motion-activated spotlights.