The Tower Chair for PUBLIC UTILITY 2.0, 2020
24 December 2016

The Tower Chair for PUBLIC UTILITY 2.0 began as a sketch in 2013 for the commission for Prospect.3 New Orleans under the direction of Franklin Sirmans for a new tower that was an extension of the telephone/electric pole and the arms that radiate from the central core. The proportions for the single element required that another arm be added as it is necessary for there to be two for the connection to be made. Following this 干干 logo or symbol for the work was developed. The symbol is also the simplified Chinese character or hànzì that translates to ‘dry’ in Mandarin.

When the work of art—PUBLIC UTILITY 2.0 (a 21st century form of land art, albeit the ‘real estate or land’ is radio frequency) that utilizes unused spectrum for equitable Internet access was commissioned for Prospect.3 New Orleans it was necessary for the narrative to be written and presented and this would involve reading in public and looking at the radio frequency map. People like to be comfortable when they look at art, especially if it requires reading or watching anything that is durational.

Hence, it was necessary to imagine the chair as a part of the work. The two dimensional extended into three. The scale is an important consideration,  given it refers to connectivity and communication and it is proven that chairs that are lower to the ground can provide this. They are child size chairs for adults. The proportion of the materials were derived from standard 4×4’s, etc., and it also hovers around Wittgenstein’s consideration of the equivalency in strength of the three-legged versus the four-legged.  The chairs are finished in an auto body shop with a safety enamel, or a rubberized finish.

Photograph by Hatnim Lee at the Hudson River Park by Chelsea Piers in 2020 and pre-COVID.

Private Collection New York.