On the Brian Lehrer Show we're talking about public art, and we want to know what public art project you'd propose. Make it simple, make it over-the-top. Make it realistic, or completely impossible! Note: These aren't actual pitches, just a way to share our ideas. Submit your own idea here.
RETURNING THE DINOSAURS TO CENTRAL PARK, OR REVIVIFYING THE ANCIENT WORLD
A Commemoration of the Paleozoic Museum
Erect a monument to celebrate New York City’s attempt to establish the Paleozoic Museum in Central Park: Bronze statues of 2 of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins’ intended dinosaurs (Dryptosaurus and Hadrosaurus) rendered in his style.
Hawkins is credited with being the first person to restore life-sized dinosaurs. This was done for the Crystal Palace in London in the 1850s and Hawkins’ was subsequently invited to erect the New World equivalent spotlighting the American counterparts being unearthed at the time.
A foundation for the museum – a menagerie of fantastic reproductions of prehistoric animals – was already excavated by the time the notorious Tweed Ring decided to destroy the project in the early 1870s. Not only the physical structure but also important exhibition pieces, including sculpted dinosaur models, became a casualty of political strife.
The planning of the Paleozoic Museum was directed by the Commissioners of Central Park and constitutes a significant episode in the park’s rich history. And the story of the Paleozoic Museum with its scientific interest, political intrigue, and human drama, deserves to be publicly remembered. People love a story of vindication, especially one this old.
As the New York Times wrote about Hawkins’ museum plans in 1870, it was “adding another attraction to the people’s playground, and one which so well combining both novelty and instruction, will always make it an object of interest” – a sentiment that the monument would continue to evoke.
63rd St. & Central Park West
Jim Dwyer described best last October: Harvest Dome, a 24-foot-diameter orb fashioned from 500 recovered stormsnapped umbrellas and floating atop a 20-foot-diameter ring of 128 2-liter bottles, is set to ride out on the inlet at Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, as soon as we can secure the umbrellas and the staging area this summer!
Inwood Hill Park Inlet, Manhattan Island, NY, at Spuyten Duyvil
Throughout NYC (and NJ) wherever the World Trade Center could once have been seen, place transparent plastic panes etched with the sklyline as viewed from that location, along with the outline of where the Twins once stood in that visual landscape.
Tourists are always asking "where were they?" and "how tall were they?" (they have no idea of the Towers' scale against the rest of the skyline), and New Yorkers already can't quite identify the WTC's actual location in our current skyline.
There are so many possible locations for these remembrance panels, including the Bklyn Hts Promenade, Bklyn Bridge Park, the lower West Side highway, Staten Island ferry terminal, Ellis Island, JFK airport, the George Washington Bridge, Liberty State Park and Hoboken in Jersey, etc., etc. The towers were an orientation point and an anchor that could be seen from so many places and from so far away.
Such a public art project would be a fitting commemoration to the skyline that so defined our city, and that hasn't been the same since Sept 11th.
I, for once, would like this to be considered an "actual pitch." I never realized we had a Public Art Fund with a Director, or I would have presented this idea to them long ago as something that would enhance our NYC landscape--I've seen these panels in my heart and mind for years.
Sculptor KEN HIRATSUKA carves one continuous line in stone around the world- there are already some in NY (25 Bond, Prince & Broadway corner). Love to see a "Mystery Trail" of these stone carvings - like a series of boulders and sidewalks and a guide so people can follow the stone carved pathways and find wonderful hidden parts of New York. www.kenrock.com He started as street art and then commissions. Make it a city-wide event to include center of city and nature spots as well!
25 Bond Street, East Houston between A-B, Prince & Broadway NW corner
Rather than a particular project, I want to suggest a general philosophy. Public Art should have a fun factor. It should either make you laugh or deliver a sense of awed wonder (Tom Otterness, Christo, Jeff Koons), or you should be able to play on it (Tom Otterness' Playground). If you cannot provide fun, then at least include a place to sit down, preferably with some shade.
I want to walk in history. In places where famous or forgotten events in NYC history happened, I'd love to see large reflective surfaces, clear glass or mirror,covered with life-size photos or images of that moment. Behind it all we'd glimpse what people wore, what the children were playing, the store signs and displays, the streetcars, carriages, carts, and as we walk by we see ourselves reflected in that past moment. I really don't want to relive the terrible fires and tragedies. I'd go for the whimsical moments before events --One approach might be with people of the past -- Stuyvesent wiping his brow, Washington talking to friends, Teddy Roosevelt on the dock, returning from Cuba, Laguardia greeting people on his way to city hall. Spark an intrigue with history.
Melissa Gould aka MeGo
My idea, unrealised, but hopefully living on forever in the memory of all who can imagine it, is called GHOSTSHIP/THE TITANIC PROJECT: a monumental site-specific installation recreating the ill-fated ocean liner TITANIC as a floating deck plan (in its original size — 882 feet long; 92 feet wide), projected in light onto the surface of the Hudson River at Pier 59 (due west of West 18th Street), the ship's intended destination in 1912.
This project is part of a series of mine called MEMORIAL LIGHTSCAPES, conceptual landscapes dedicated to the memory, both personal and collective, of "lost spaces" — that is, places with a particular psychological weight because they no longer exist and where their disappearance is the result of tragic events. These projects propose the installation of life-size "in-the-night-landscape" drawings made of light that are based on the actual architectural blueprint plans or historic maps of the lost spaces they represent; geographical juxtapositions as a counterpoint of memory.
I am interested in provoking historical memory as well as in stimulating the imagination, compelling viewers to envision a "New York That *Should* Have Been." GHOSTSHIP / THE TITANIC PROJECT proposes a monumental twist of time and fate.
Manhattan, the Hudson River at Pier 59; due west of 18th Street
This idea came to me fm my 12 y.o. boy, who loves socialiazing face to face and NOT on the computer, who saw a picture of youngsters laying in the grass and looking at the ski, and made a comment how he wishes kids did that in real life and not on screens:
On the NYC parks, on the grass, statues of kids, teens, adults, elderly, families (mix or match) froliking in the grass and just relaxing. Maybe real people might join in and take the load off. An incentive to destress?
Art made created and made by local artists in low-income communities and displayed at their neighborhood laundromats. We call it The Laundromat Project. Visit us at http://www.laundromatproject.org/mission.htm.
I am pitching for the support of a great local nonprofit organization called The Laundromat Project. It is committed to the well-being of people of color living on low incomes. Understanding that creativity is a central component of healthy human beings, vibrant neighborhoods, and thriving economies, we bring art programs to where our neighbors already are: the local laundromat. In this way, we aim to raise the quality of life in New York City for people whose incomes do not guarantee broad access to mainstream arts and cultural facilities. Check us out at http://www.laundromatproject.org/mission.htm
Stan in Ditmas Park
A musical suggestion with a spectacular visual components: A poetic friend of mine years ago, staring at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, wished that the spirit of Harpo Marx would descend from heaven and "play" the bridge. I'm still waiting.
Functional/sculptural benches. There is not enough benches outside of public parks around the city.
Benches with more of a design element would not only add to the beautification of the city, but also encourage functional art/design.
Artist decorated trash baskets all throughout the city to encourage use.
I'd love to see a lighted Chihuly installation on the Brooklyn Bridge.
A running path linking the tops of buildings transforming the NY skyline into a mountain ridgeline.
You know all those pay phones around no one uses? Hook them up to other public telephones in other cities around the world, to encourage dialogue and random connections.
All around town
!Explanation Point! is a whimsical self-illuminated functional sculpture. Powered by solar panels, it serves as lighting and as information point.
While its top is wide enough to contain a solar panel, it narrows at its base, creating a slightly off-balance appearance. It is wrapped in a translucent skin which transmits the LED lighting from within. The fabric skin can also serve as a projection screen onto which information imagery can be projected or printed -- itself could be part of a moving LED sign.
Support for the structure is provided by a vertical steel member welded to a large flat steel plate which sits on top of the concrete sidewalk – no foundation is required.
!Explanation Point can be sited at different street locations; one of the most appropriate for its orientation is the Hudson River Waterfront.
Hudson River waterfront
a disco ball from every traffic light
I WALK THEREFORE I AM
a Collective Participatory installation about Walking in the City
Walking is the most primordial way to go through space and time and is the ideal transportation means at an urban scale. Walking promotes physical and mental fitness by cardiovascular exercise and can also lead an educational experience and enjoyment.
I Walk, Therefore I Am consists of daily itineraries linking different natural and cultural events in several cities. Each itinerary contains information about natural events often forgotten in urban life, such as the time of sunrise and sunset or the moon phases and eclipses —and the places to best appreciate them in the city canyons. Cultural and social awareness events are also included.
The information will be delivered through the blog axesmundi http://axesmundi.blogspot.com/ which has already collected information from several recordings of urban life of several cities, including New York, Miami and Rome. AR (Augumented Reality) applications to be used in smartphones will be implemented, superimposing information to camera views.