Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weekend Picks for September 6 - 8

 Hughen/Starkweather Requiem 7 (from the Bay Bridge Project), 2013 Gouache, pencil, and ink on paper 8.25" x 10.75"

Electric Works: 'Valediction" is the result of a collaboration between local artists Amanda Hughen and Jennifer Starkweather that focuses on the now demolished East Span of the Bay Bridge. Their works are delicate, complex and patterned, mapping the unique grids of human built systems overlaying the natural movements of the Bay Area.

 After four governors, multiple reviews, continual controversy and outrageous cost over runs, the Bay Bridge has finally opened. It is the most complex engineering feat in the history of California and is the largest the largest self-anchored suspension bridge in the world, with a single tower rising 525 feet into the air and transitioning to a graceful skyway that touches down in Oakland.

The Bay bridge — the old part which finally came down this month and the new construction, with its size, scope and design elements — has claimed their attention for over four years. In the future, works like theirs may be the only memory we have of a structure and of a process that dominated the lives of those traveling between Oakland and San Francisco since the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989.

In Valediction, the artists explore this idea, as well as the past and future of the East Span, including its construction 75 years ago as a railroad bridge, the 1989 earthquake damage that predestined its eventual replacement, and its future as an abandoned structure on the Bay as it is dismantled over the next few years.

The artists researched the project through architecture and engineering drawings, data, maps and diagrams, and historic and current photographs. They also drew from their own experiences of years of driving across the bridge.

Hughen/Starkweather create collaborative artworks that explore the layers, complexities, and patterns that comprise a specific place using both current and historic information ­ photographs, maps, and data ­ to research a location. The resulting artworks map unique forms and patterns derived from built systems and natural movements of a place.

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