Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A monument to change that's always changing

Hundreds of colorful Post-It notes?

Not quite.

Instead, what caught my attention as my wife and I happened upon the American artist Peter Wegner's never-ending "Monument to Change as It Changes" on a recent, northern California spring evening was this: it's an unusual yet thought-provoking monument of colorful patterns and images that's perpetually in flux.

One moment, the 2,048 tiles comprising "Monument to Change as It Changes" are mostly blue with shades of green. Another moment, it's turned red accented with yellow, and so on. There's a fluttering sound heard as each of the tiles flips and changes color.

The massive, three-ton wall monument, which made its debut in 2011, is a 32-foot-wide large grid of colorful flip tiles built into the facade of Zambrano Hall at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business campus.

The flip-digit technology that enables each tile to change colors ~ including blues, reds, yellow, greens, purples ~ is reminiscent to the way letters change on old-fashioned European train station departure and arrival boards. And, not surprisingly, this mesmerizing artwork was designed so that no color patterns repeat during an eight-hour cycle.

During my 10-minute visit, I stood transfixed by the ever-evolving color patterns and the cadence of sound as I tried to shoot photographs of this artistic moving monument.

Sometimes, it takes provocative beauty to make us pause and think about big thoughts.

Monument to Change as it Changes /
Always colorful and perpetually in flux

Photograph of "Monument to Change as it Changes" by Michael Dickens, copyright 2013. 
Video courtesy of Stanford Graduate School of Business, copyright 2011.

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