Saturday, 4 October 2014

Non-Sign II

BFTF has been fascinated to read about the "Non-Sign II" art installation at Blaine(WA) on the US-Canadian Border.

It is designed by artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo at the Lead Pencil Studio (see also here) and is a kind of anti-billboard, consisting of white space through which the changing landscape is framed by an intricate network of welded 0.8"(20mm) diameter blackened stainless steel rods.

Non-Sign II

It ranks highly on any reasonable scale of awesomeness!

BFTF asked Lead Pencil how the installation was constructed and how the designers were sure it would not fall down.

They were kind enough to respond, saying that they had confidence due to previous experience with the technique and pointed out that whilst the steel rods were thin, the spans they crossed were short and that the structure had a high strength to weight ratio.

Lead Pencil also kindly allowed use of the images in this post, which come from a gallery of pictures by fabricator Ian Gill.

This video (also by Ian Gill) gives some understanding of how the separate parts of the installation were prepared at the Lead Pencil studios and then joined together on-site (very cleverly, check it out at around 1m15sec).

Almost as interesting as the installation itself is the way it was funded - through the rather wonderful US Government's "Art in Architecture" program. This is run by the US General Services Admininstration (GSA), who state that:
"GSA reserves one-half of one percent of the estimated construction cost of each new federal building to commission project artists. A panel composed of art professionals, civic and community representatives, the project’s lead design architect, and GSA staff meets to discuss opportunities for artists to participate in the building project. This panel reviews a diverse pool of artist candidates and nominates finalists for GSA to evaluate. Artists who receive federal commissions work with the project architects and others as members of a design team to ensure that the artworks are meaningfully integrated into the overall project."

BFTF asked Nottingham Council whether they have a similar scheme and, if not, perhaps they should start one!

Bare Foundations

Part Completed

Part Completed - Detail (with Maple Leaf for scale)

Detail during construction, showing welds between rods

Detail during construction - showing rods ready for welding...
...a LOT of rods ready for welding

Construction at the site took 14 days

The completed installation - something for drivers to ponder
 as they queue at the Border Crossing !

Other Art related content
Non Sign II
Jeffer M Garib
Pictures of the Sky
Nottingham - Tiltshifted
Some Wonderful Artists
Graffiti Walls
Shonaleigh at Nottingham Storytellers
Great programme describing how some of Turners paintings covered key changes in the Industrial Revolution.
Piero Gilardi and John Newling at Nottingham Contemporary
God bless our libraries
Light Night 2013
The Chair
Himmah Eid Festival
Great Comedy on Radio 4
How art can affect you
Tour of the Theatre Royal
Fantastic Snow Art by Simon Beck (see also here)
Jean Genet at Nottingham Contemporary
Rick Davies and Michael Hansmeyer


Image Sources: All used with permission from Ian Gills Gallery

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