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Towers: a new memorial for 9/11

Towers 1, made from stainless steel, seen here against the sky.

-- Edward Tufte

In our thread on horizons I discuss Towers 1 as follows:

In a several Matisse works I saw today at Foundation Beyeler in Basel, a local horizon is created at the bottom of the painting (reading as the front in the painting's perspective) by table tops or 2 or 3 angular lines sometimes the ghost of table tops. (Recall the long discussion of Cezanne tabletops in Beautiful Evidence.) Just before I left home, I'd been working on exactly the same problem in the Towers sculpture display (note the angular base formed by 2 planes at the bottom Towers 1.

The top plane carries the towers and rotates against the lower plane creating the skewed semi-perspectival darker planes, as the whole thing sits on a tabletop. My Beyeler notes are filled with sketches of the Matisse skewed local horizons; perhaps it would be good to see some maps of those planes similar to the Loran maps of Cezanne in BE.

Appropriately, I'm showing and talking about some photographs of Towers 1 here at ArtBasel on Wednesday.

Towers 1 also of course is arrayed against a beautiful cloudy sky, the "back or main or upper horizon" (better term to come) and indeed the local horizon of the table tops is itself outlined by the upper horizon.

This account, it must be said, is after-the-fact since these particular visual effects were discovered in the trial and error process of the making Towers 1. The photographs were taken from below the plane of the piece so to express the lower local angularity and perspective as well as the big sky perspective.

The important analytical point is to think about multiple horizons, local and cosmopolitan. This is always an issue in placing a big piece in the landscape: what do you get locally (as on top of a rolling hill), and what do you get globally (as against the distant horizon of earth and sky)?

-- Edward Tufte

I missed the sailboat metaphor but it is certainly there.

My metaphor is a 400 feet tall version to serve as the 9/11 memorial instead of the currently planned voids. The stainless steel produces beautiful light and shadows, always changing with the sun and season; the piece stands out among the tall buildings and could be seen far away and flying over; it reaches up into the sky (like the pillars of light did in the very successful informal memorial); the bridge (of life) points up and forward; the piece does not attract mischief; and there would be exactly 2979 circles showing absence, each circle individually and uniquely identifiable with each death; and shadows of individual circles move around the piece with the light, the shadows projected over the entire surrounding area and buildings. The two WTC foundations remain, open and viewable, underneath the canopy of the stainless steel memorial.

Stainless steel requires little upkeep and always looks as good as it did when first constucted. The cost of this piece, whatever it may be, is surely a lot less than the currently projected $960 million for the void memorial.

The current version is 8 feet tall; scaling up will require some excellent structural engineering.

-- Edward Tufte

Frank Stella uses a Paris based engineering company called RFR.

Bandshell, Frank Stella, Miami

Steel Projects

-- Tchad (email)

David W. Dunlap and Charles V. Bagli, "New Plan Unveiled for W.T.C. Memorial". New York Times, 20 June 2006.

Aaron Swartz's NYT link generator provided the permalink.

-- Niels Olson (email)

See Nicolai Ouroussoff on the ground zero memorial:

-- ET

-- Edward Tufte

-- Edward Tufte

Xu Zhou prepared this beautiful rendering of the Towers piece. The image captures some of the materiality and reflectivity of the sculpture. We can now set the rendering down in different contexts and eventually maybe we'll have a 3D tour around the piece.

Click on the image for a big file and scroll down to see many fine details, particularly the reflections on the base plane.
(click to see larger)

-- Edward Tufte

In the photo below, the reflections at the right on the stainless steel base for the piece are the result of water wetting down the ground plane. Note the shadows, the overlapping shadows, and the complex reflections.

-- Edward Tufte

Threads relevant to sculpture:
Ace and Porta do multimedia
Bird Series
Aluminum and stainless steel; many, many pieces moving in the air.
Bouquet sculpture series--and Walking, Seeing, Constructing
Beginning of Bouquet series (now 7); along with theoretical statement beginning the volume 5 project.
Buddha with Bird Nest: sculpture
Complex sculptural shapes
Dear Leader I: landscape sculpture May 2006
Narrative piece about some mysterious porcelain objects in a stainless steel perspective box.
Dog sculpture (Porta the Portuguese Water Dog)
ET Modern
ET museum/gallery in the Chelsea Art District in New York 2010-2013.
ET show at George Champion Modern Shop
ET gallery show in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Escaping Flatland sculptures
Ten large stainless steel pieces in the landscape generate many views and painted color fields as the sun moves across the sky and the season changes.
Feynman Diagrams, Edward Tufte sculptures and exhibits
The Conceptual and Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams. Art show + 16 page essay.
Flame Theater
Georgia O'Keeffe and Escaping Flatland
Hogpen Hill #1: sculpture installed August 2006
First major piece (24 feet light, stainless steel) installed in new 122 acre sculpture park underway in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Ironstone artworks, torqued steel
Magritte's Smile
Masks Quartet, 2011
bronze casting
Megaliths, Continuous and Silent, Stuctures of Unknown Significance
Stone+air artworks. Scuplture, megaliths
Millstone sculpture series
Massive industrial pieces sorting out circles and light. Redesigning and repurposing scrap from nuclear power plant.
Multiplicity in visual experiences (ET presentation for a museum show)

Nine reviews of ET's Aldrich Museum sculpture show
ET museum show in Connecticut 2009-2010
Paradox sculptures
Petals 1-3
Aluminum hyperbolic paraboloids in the landscape reflect light and shadow. The pieces move with the contour of the land.
Philosophical Diamond Signs
Philosophical alerts, imperatives, and thoughts about the path past and future.
Rocket Science
~32 feet (10 m) high and ~72 feet (22 m) long, and is constructed from ~48,000 pounds (22,000 kg) of rusting scrap steel
Rocket Science #2 (Lunar Lander)
Rocket Science 3: Airstream Interplanetary Explorer
Sculpture Forgings
Steel forging mounted on wood base. Blacksmithing video.
Sculpture: Negative space studies
Three table pieces; strong positive elements create active negative volumes (the air) to torque. Movies.
Seeing Around: New ET essay published
Skewed Machine
Spring Arcs, an ET landscape sculpture
Four solid stainless steel arcs in the landscape. Long thread, many photographs on meaning, construction, viewing of the piece.
Stainless steel images: anisotropic calligraphy
Big series of engraved 3D anisomorphic images that move with light.
Steel sculptures
Rough, thick, rusting steel, with surface images in the steel's patina.
Table sculptures
About a dozen major table pieces in wood, steel, stainless steel.
The Drawing Center fax show: ET exhibits
The Twigs: Landscape artworks made from steel and air
The beautiful Twig. Steel, 32 feet high, with accompanying thread on reading the piece and the complexities of modeling large 3D objects.
Theater Museum artworks
Tong Bird of Paradise
ZZ Smile (Zerlina's Smile)

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