Monday, November 24, 2008

For the Birds

"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."


Zoomie said...

I'm coming in to see this one for sure and to visit SFAI - once I get back. Shall we plan a lunch at the cafe at SFAI soon and walk over to see this? I might even still have my SFAI parking sticker! :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

I read this entry and then I read the story via your link. This seems so awesome. I am sure it is difficult to imagine what it is like by reading about it. Yet, it seems like it would be great to see and experience it in person.
While reading about it, I thought, what if every city encouraged public art like this? I mean, I visualize art on EVERY street corner! Can you imagine how different our world would be?

namastenancy said...

European governments support the arts and every city has museums, art galleries, concerts in the parks - a rich feast for the citizens. In SF we have more than a lot of places but yes - I'm with you. Art on every corner, programs to teach the arts and to give the arts (and artists respect), support for artists of all kinds. What a wonderful world that would be!