Traverse- the Golden Gate Bridge

SFMOMA’s blog Open Space commissioned Amanda Hughen and Jennifer Starkweather to create new posts to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Hughen/Starkweather create collaborative artworks that explore the layers, complexities and patterns that comprise a specific place. In addition to this recent work about the Golden Gate Bridge they are continuing their ongoing series of artworks Approach, Transition, Touchdown about the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge.

Way More

1+ 1 added up to way more than two on Saturday evening.
Bravo! Kudos! Hurrah! to Jon Raskin and Phillip Greenlief for bringing their extraordinary music to the gallery.

Yes, they played the sax but in a way like never heard before- traveling between rigorous composition and wild improvisations. They not only play the musical notes, they strum and tap the entire instrument creating unexpected, unusual sounds.

Their scores are composed of non-traditional musical symbols (crumpled paper, train tracks from toy train sets, a coil of screening wire) arranged in a visual design rather than on conventional sheet music.

The resonance of our space with the high ceilings and wooden floor with the cavernous basement underneath made for a perfect concert hall. Undaunted by the noises from outside, the swoosh, swoosh rhythm of the traffic on the rain soak street added to the musical ambiance. Hughen/Starkweather artwork inspired by the Bay Bridge set the perfect stage, a visual compliment to their virtuosic performance.

Approach, Transition, Touchdown

Reception: Friday, October 21, 6–8 pm
Exhibition Dates Oct. 21—Nov. 23, 2011

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Electric Works is pleased to announce Approach, Transition, Touchdown: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Project by Hughen/Starkweather.

Hughen/Starkweather create collaborative artworks that explore the layers, complexities and patterns that comprise a specific place using both current and historic information — photographs, maps and data — to research a location. The resulting artworks map unique forms and patterns derived from built systems and natural movements of a place.

Approach, Transition, Touchdown is a new series of prints and drawings focusing on the historic and current construction of the Bay Bridge. Over the course of two years, the artists were given access to architectural and engineering drawings, maps and diagrams, photographs of ongoing construction, as well as on-site visits by boat and on foot during various phases of construction. (Particularly notable was a vertiginous trip via steel construction elevator to the scaffolding at the top of the new tower.) They met with engineers, architects and designers involved with the project who explained the immense complexities and intricacies of the design and construction.

This November marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Bay Bridge in 1936. At the time, many believed it would be impossible to build the bridge because of high winds, muddy depths, strong waters and varying soils. There had been discussion of building a bridge between San Francisco and Oakland since the 1870s, but the process was delayed due to many factors. Once completed in 1936, it was the longest bridge in the world.

Fast forward to 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake collapsed a section of the east span and initiated seismic upgrades and eventually an entirely new design for the east span. The project has passed through four governors, political hurdles and extensive design reviews. When the new bridge opens in 2013, it will be the most complex engineering feat in the history of California. The new structure, which begins at the Yerba Buena Island, will be the largest self-anchored suspension bridge in the world, with a single tower rising 525 feet into the air and transitioning to a graceful skyway that touches down in Oakland. Whereas the current bridge is double-decked, the replacement will feature side-by-side decks and a 15.5-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path running along the eastbound deck.

Saturday, November 12 is the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Bay Bridge in 1936. Join us on that day from 3–5 pm to celebrate the anniversary with a glass of champagne and an artists’ walkthrough of the show.