Topograph was designed and constructed for the San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2 departures area. A raised entryway forms a kind of narrow bridge above a massive open space in the main floor of the terminal and this presented very specific opportunities both functionally and formally. Travelers are typically moving quickly across the bridge and through the lower level. The form was intended to participate in what I saw as rapidly and sequentially changing positions of viewer to object. The work is constructed out of a series of vertically hung planes that behave like slats. As one moves in relation to the work, whether looking from above into the sculpture or from below, the planes seem to pivot. At one point when one is perpendicular to the thin slats that form the sculpture the form almost disappears. Alternatively, from some vantage points there is a suggestion that the planes have been compressed into a single form. But viewed from other points these vertical planes decompress and expand. Perhaps suggesting clouds dispersing or shifting landscapes.
The design grew out of my interest in these dynamic viewing points from above and below as well as an interest in how I might create a single sculpture in two sections – one on either side of the bridge in such a way that a viewer would walk between fragments of a kind of ephemeral landscape. To this end Topograph consists of two groups of vertically hung panels sighted on either side of the bridge/mezzanine to create a fragmented topography map.
San Francisco International Airport
lower image by Bruce Damonte
rigging by Methods and Materials
project management by
Mark G. Anderson Consultants