Saturday, May 28, 2011

More To Come After The Long Weekend

Next Wednesday and Thursday more artists will install their work at 1002 Washington Avenue. Gonzo 24/7, Jesse Sifuentes and Geoff Winningham will all be filling those insets/reveals built into the sheet rock at seven difference locations throughout the building.
I've gone nuts for weeks remeasuring those insets and comparing the measurements with the sizes of each piece of artwork. I think we are going to be all right, but I am not one to believe in numbers, whether they be of inches, feet or dollars and cents. Let's hope that each piece will fall into place with incident. We don't want to be hacking away at the newly painted sheet rock. Not that we would. There would simply be a delay and a change order. But we won't go there. All the insets have been checked and rechecked. I do know that Geoff and I think that one of his insets is an inch off. We'll soon find out. Enough of this paranoia.
By the end of next week, the second wave of installations should be successfully concluded and then the week of June 7, Serena, Kaneem and I get our work in place. Here is Serena's pit at the bottom of the interior staircase where she will install a series of monitors that will show a continuous display of the Houston sky via three cameras already installed on the roof of the building. There are big windows at the top of the stairway above level 4 so one can look up and then down to the basement and see blue sky. I love her concept.
Metalab's lobby piece is coming together in stages as subcontractors complete work. I can see the outlines of their piece and need to talk with them again to ascertain their schedule.
Bill Neuhaus, JB White and Susan McMillian and I met with Kaneem one day last week to talk about her installation. She brought a group of her burlap columns and it soon became evident that we'd need to 'place' the ceiling hardware and hooks that will hold these floating columns as she installs. They cannot be set in place ahead of time. She'll have to put one up at a time and then another and then another, arranging them as she goes along.
Still wondering if she'll had sound to these soft columns. Sure would surprise people if they brush against them and heard tiny bells. We'll see if she goes there.
After we met with Kaneem, I toured the building with Robynn Sanders, beginning in the basement where she and Susan and I discussed painted wall text using all the 'recycle' words I've collected in five different languages. I spoke of spirals and blocks of chunky letters and she immediately began to sketch out something for organizing the words. It looks terrific.
Sure will be fun to see her paint this wall. I've gone back and forth with one idea and then another for using these words, but I think we've almost hit upon it and I am excited.
My text walls are different from the work of most of the other artists. I've 'thought up' the ideas, but am not actually hand crafting any of the text interventions. Have collaborated with S.O. Creatives on most of the text interventions. They can actually take ideas and get them into a form that then be fabricated. A&E Graphics is working on two walls, one behind the bank of cashier's (is that a pun of sorts?) on the lobby floor. I got a dozen or more vintage blueprints and maps copied in high resolution and I wanted them in a giant montage with the words FINAL and APPROVAL overlaid on the surface of the blueprints like giant rubber stamps. S.O. Creatives made that happen and A&E Graphics will make the 'wall paper' that will be installed on June 8 if all is on schedule.
Bob Card made a text wall. He's taken recycled and salvaged woods and made then into a 5 ft by 8 ft bar code that reads GREEN - if you can read bar code. This 'text' will be installed on level 4 as you enter the main admin offices. Bob's included wood from the old Warwick Hotel, mahogany flooring from a home in River Oaks, mesquite and pecan.
I've had to reposition my sign language walls that will have brightly colored plexi hands that say things like "Code spoken here with skill, nuance and great authority." That statement is an approximation of what I remember writing several months ago.
Here's Sherri Oldham measuring the height for installing the plexi hand movements. They projected the images of the hands on to the wall so get the right scale and placement.
Two of the walls I chose for installing sign language are now blocked with more cubicles. The place is going to be a warren of offices. They are assembling the cubicles on level 4 and will work downward.
I understand there will be over 500 folks working in the building every day plus another couple hundred who come and go and are mostly in the field. That makes 700+ employees in this facility. I think some begin to move into their new spaces by June 17.
Oh, and Aggie Eyster is cutting out letters from old coffee cans. They'll spell out recycling sorts of words in English and Spanish and we'll install them high up in corners of random walls throughout the building. We'll also be hanging plexi clouds here and there with messages about code and recycling. These will be small interventions 'in the back of the house' so to speak.
So we have a really busy couple of weeks, the culmination of over a year's planning and work. Can't wait to see everything in place.

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