mass turbulence

Redwood City doesn’t have a lot of public art, aside from the empty retail storefronts being used as phantom gallery space (which Mellowcat endorses).  So I await with interest the sculpture to be placed in front of the downtown library.  It’s being funded by the $1.3 million gift to the city by a resident, intended for “bird baths”.  The library board of trustees minutes from February of this year says:

Ferris Hix, from the City of Redwood City Community Development Department, solicited Board input on a sculpture which would be located in the vacant space in front of Library Parking Lot B. The Board all agreed on the Tower design, but asked if the sculpture could be adjusted to resemble a stack of books.  Mr. Hix will check with the artist to see if this is an option.  The Board thanked him for his time.

I wonder what the “tower design” looked like?  I’m not a huge fan of the stack of books concept, but we will take a wait and see position – maybe it will turn out alright.  Especially if the bird bath gets included.  But I wonder why people like the stack of books?  Book collectors and readers wouldn’t store books in this fashion – what if you wanted to read the book that’s at the bottom of the stack?  Would a bank have a sculpture of a stack of coins out front?  It’s just a bit too obvious – library… books… right, we get it.  Sort of like the “muffler man” statues – just so motorists weren’t confused about the type of repairs available, muffler shops constructed a giant man holding out a muffler in his arms. Why not have a statue of a giant librarian with outstretched arms holding a book?  On the bright side, we’ll be reminded of this bit of dialogue whenever we see the book stack statue:

Dr Ray Stantz: Symmetrical book stacking. Just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947.
Dr. Peter Venkman: You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.

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