The Tower

In 2012 I traveled to Chile for an event sponsored by 3M. It was a festival in honor of the children, and I designed an interactive work where the children would appear to be standing on a hugely tall tower under construction. When I finished designing the piece I read about the history of the city where I was to work.

The Tower

Like all of Chile, the Concepción region is seismically active, with much of Concepción destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1939. An earthquake in 1953 damaged 15% of the town’s buildings. Another majorearthquake in 1960 had a nearby epicenter. In 2010, an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude struck. This time most of the town was destroyed. The effects of the quake were felt as far away as São Paulo, Brazil, (2,870 miles). For this reason, there was not much in the way of historical sites to see in Concepción. Although the theme of reconstruction was highly appropriate for the city, the actual architecture shown would not have been appropriate.

The organizers actually did three events with pavement artists in the same week. Without telling me, (or likely any of us), two other very popular 3D pavement artists were working in other cities in Chile. We were to be connected with live feed on huge monitors during the week. The live feed at my site did not work until the last day, which was just as well. The two other artists had made numerous public statements that implicitly took credit for inventing or developing the 3D pavement art, completely ignoring that I had created and introduced it to thousands of people it a decade earlier. I knew that they were aware of my work, and  that fact really bothered me. When their first stories no longer  were no longer believable, they stated that the art form had always existed. Although other artists may use an older form of anamorphic geometry to do their work, what I developed was unique. I suppose that I should be more patient with this, but it is human to want to be credited with what one has done.

I really am happy that so many artists have taken up 3D pavement art and I know that it brings joy to them and their public. I would just prefer it if other artists would leave my biography intact. The younger generation of pavement artists does not have this problem so I can feel free to enjoy their company and pass on my experiences to them. It works out a lot better this way. I did get a nice e-mail from one of the two artists at the end of the event, so perhaps we are heading into new era.


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