One day the signs may say you are in Narnia but the next day Middle Earth, and then in the days following Howl’s Castle, Co:pern:ica, and then Lilliput. In Seattle’s newest public art located at Urban Triangle Park, Escape Destinations consists of two separate sculptures that employ a bus-blind device to scroll through lighted names of fictional destinations from literature, games, film and comics. Each day, once a day, the location will change. The smaller, yellow sculpture facing into the park features 100 place names taken from children’s literature and culture, and the larger blue sculpture facing the intersection features 100 different place names taken from adult literature and culture.
The artist, Janet Zweig, inspired by the changes happening in this neighborhood and a nod the adjacent Amazon campus referencing its beginnings as a bookseller, created the artwork in recognition of the changing identity of place. In contrast to a place having the same name and many identities; the artwork renames the park every day. The changing names are meant to give the visitors a feeling of escape or fantasy and the artist hopes inspire web searches and reading discoveries. The fictional places are places we might be quite familiar with and we can visit in our minds, while a real place has many histories that are invisible to us.
Janet Zweig is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY, working primarily in the public realm. She was born in Milwaukee, raised in Chicago, and has lived and worked in New York since 1994. Zweig received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY.
In Zweig’s public artwork, she uses text, signage and mechanical and digital devices as formal elements. Frequently she incorporates several strategies to bring the public into the work, including crowd-sourcing content, making interactive, kinetic or changing pieces, and making work specific to a situation. Her artwork attempts to speak to viewers as individuals rather than thinking of a community as a static entity, She seeks to address the reality of communities that are in change and motion and works to bring something new to a situation, to allow each viewer to see something in his or her own way, and to create engaging experiences. To learn more about her artwork, you can visit her website http://janetzweig.com/.
Escape Destinations is located in Urban Triangle Park is located at the corner of Westlake and Lenora in Downtown Seattle. If you spend your lunch hour there, you will likely be transported to a new destination.
Fabrication support provided to the artist by Transign, Alpha Proto, and Sign Effectz, Inc.
Commissioned with Seattle Parks and Recreation 1% for Art