Things Are Looking Up was designed as a public project for the City of San Francisco. This project was featured in Chronicle Books’ forthcoming publication Inspiration Book, released in 2011.
This is a proposal to mount a 25x15ft panel on a wall South of Market in San Francisco, ideally at a site near a parking lot at 2nd street at Howard St. This is a transitional downtown space, frequented at different hours by business people, the homeless, bar patrons, and people in transit to the East Bay.
The panel in question will bear the text “Things are looking up”. Below the text will be located five plexi circles; “suns”, each 12 inches in diameter and mounted in a horizontal row. They are backlit with LED lights, changing colors through out the day. At dusk the LED circles are programmed to change individually from a light yellow to a deep magenta, reminiscent of the sun setting and ascending. The change will be incremental, so that each circle is at a different stage all times. During the day they will all be a light sky-blue.
The imagined audience of this piece is the individual moving through the urban space, seeking answers to a question regarding the meaning and nature of his existence. -Where is my life going?
I have addressed this question in earlier works with various responses, using astronomical imagery of stars and suns. The paradox inherent in using astronomical imagery is obvious: human ambition has no impact on the heavens, yet in poetry the movements of people and planets are constantly linked. Likewise the city, where most people move to find themselves, is full of indications on how to spend your money or where you fit in. It gives no indication of where on earth you are, where the planet is located in relation to your self, or where and how your life is going.
This piece addresses this, and putting in focus the common humanity of the visitors to the site, it also locates them in relation to larger, even celestial events.
I first designed this proposal in 2006. At the time I had great help from the media designer Jason Libsch.