"Language of the Birds" is a permanent installation by San Francisco artists Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn. Etched into the concrete below the books, strung among two stoplight poles and one streetlight stanchion, are words that appear to have fallen from their pages. Located on a small traffic island at Columbus and Broadway, the project was unveiled on Sunday, complete with performance art, marching bands and many speeches by SF's famous (and maybe infamous) literati and politicians.
"This is not a typical public works project," said Ed Reiskin, director of the city's Department of Public Works. "It's the first time performance art has been part of public art."
According to local artist, Goggin, "All of this text has been taken from books that were written by local authors over the last 150 years."
"North Beach-specific authors," added Keehn, 44. "We have the San Francisco Renaissance, the Beats, Chinese poets and Italians. We wanted to illuminate the culture and history that you find in this neighborhood."