Repository of Collective Memory
Utah State Archive, Salt Lake City, UT
Dichroic Glass stainless steel wire
14’ x 20’ x 5’
Public Art commissioned by State of Utah
Inspired by the art selection committee’s statement: “… artwork to reflect in some way the role of the Archives as a repository of collective memory …,” I began my journey.
I found visual images to conceptually translate and understand the purpose of the Archives building. I learned how and what is stored on the towering metal shelves in the storage facility. I also learned how the system of storing information is transforming in the digital age. I wanted to compare the old information storage systems to the new. I also wanted to reference how we, as human beings, selectively store our memories and transform them into something more varied and fully saturated with colors when we recollect them at a later time.
The pieces of dichroic glass represent the dispersing and re-arrangement of information, so that each fragment, as in a jigzsaw puzzle, appears to fly out of the box, out of a storage vault, to freely float in the space of the foyer. The information for the etching on the glass was inspired by the original architectural drawings of Utah’s state capitol building that are safely stored in the Utah State Archives. The individual shapes of the glass were inspired by the outline of a box in a three dimensional view.
By choosing the material for each fragment to be the special ‘dichroic glass,’ I wanted to utilize the natural daylight flooding from the skylight. The interaction between the movement of daylight and the dichroic hexagon pieces creates an ever-changing visual experience for visitors and resident archivists by projecting colored patterns on the wall above the stairway that can be seen throughout the foyer.