Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Shadow Parks

We all cast a shadow behind us...
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There are many important dates that we want to remember. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month, at eleven o’clock in the morning on 1918, for example, the First World War officially ended. September the Eleventh is another particular date (and time of day) that also has a terrible resonance in our collective consciousness.

These events should be remembered, and lasting monuments should be erected to them.

So - a small space of land is set aside for a park. In this park there are a series of sculptures – maybe the sculptures are abstract (shapes for to kids to climb on and play in, perhaps), or maybe they’re more figurative, with each one reflecting a different aspect of whatever it is they are there to commemorate. All year round people can come to the park, walk round the sculptures, read the informative plaques, eat picnics, let their children play around them – whatever. Most of the time the park is just a nice place to hang out.

But once a year – always on the same day, and always at the same time – these disparate sculptures come together to reveal their true meaning. All the seemingly separate sculptures come into conjunction, and, with the sun at the right angle behind them, their carefully-calculated silhouettes come together to form a kind of fleeting super-sculpture: a shadow-sculpture, which casts a single image that does not last for long, but which reflects the event the that the park is there to commemorate.

I might not have explained this terribly well. But it seems to me that shadows are a better way to remember absence than any kind of concrete memorial.

lostdog, Mar 15 2003

Montclair SU's sculpture garden http://www.montclai...e1101sculpture.html
See description of "Ophiuchus: The Serpent Bearer" by Mac Adams. Pretty similar [pottedstu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Wave Without A Shore http://www.amazon.c...86771013/halfbakery
...features a sculpture of a face that so dependent on the lighting, that it changes expression every moment of every day. It is such a work of genius that the person who commissioned it cripples the sculptor to prevent him from ever bettering it. So watch your back if you do this one. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Megalithic tomb alignments http://www.comp-arc...ntationLocation.htm
All over Europe; often lit by the sunrise on Midwinter's day. [8th of 7, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

kinetic bas-reliefs http://perso.wanado...baladi/leonardo.htm
I think this is the artist who made the relief krelnik mentioned. The heroic figure is Andre Malraux. [TheoH, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Newgrange tomb http://www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm
oldest building in the world [xenzag, Dec 07 2005]

Artist: Fred Eerdekens http://users.pandor.../eerdekens/main.htm
Some of his works spell something in shadows, if lit from an angle. [jutta, Mar 19 2006]

[link]






       This would be an awesome creation.
Are shadow croissants less filling, do you think? (+)
  

       Agree. Exceptional.
bristolz, Mar 16 2003
  

       The supershadow sculpture could coincide with the day and hour that is being comemorated. So the shadow park for the end of WWI Would make the super shadow sclupture on the 11th day on the 11th hour of the 11th month.
Gulherme, Mar 16 2003
  

       damn. this is marvelous. i'm going to point my Art& Architecture friends at this and they're going to be very jealous -- doubly-so if you're not an artist by trade. +
MacBellend, Mar 16 2003
  

       The new World Trade Center design will not only not occupy space used by original buildings, but also do something which is the reverse of this idea. The new structures will cast no shadows on the areas of impact during those hours on 9-11.
thumbwax, Mar 16 2003
  

       Neat. I sure hope the sun is shining that day.
FarmerJohn, Mar 16 2003
  

       Suggested title: Theme Parkthenon.
Shz, Mar 16 2003
  

       I think this is a swell idea, and well worth implementing more frequently and with more fanfare than many artists have in the past. This installation would not mark the first time a sculptor or installation artist has made site specific requirements for the way his work was to be installed that took full advantage of the way it appeared at specific times of the year or under specific lighting or other atmospheric conditions. In fact, those kind of considerations are routine with major artists.   

       It bothers me a little, though, how reminiscent lostdog's idea is of the arcana surrounding Stonehenge associated with specific astronomic events, and the kind of adventure- archaeology we saw in Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc, etc. In those kind of stories, suns, moons, stars or planets are always aligning in some unique fashion understood only by the ancients that combines to move mountains, shift sands, part seas, and activate secret locks with focused light beams. But since we can all use a bit more magic, wonder and awe in our lives, I guess I'll throw pigeon food at the idea, too. [Note: "mysticism" changed to "arcana" pursuant to Sleepygrass' comment directly following.]
jurist, Mar 16 2003
  

       You've possibly found a use for all the space debris. To remember lives lost in the space program you could 'arrange' for left over space objects to spell out a word/ phrase in the midday sun on a certain day of the year, casting it's shadow on the world.
RockHopper, Mar 16 2003
  

       What I would really like is if the same abstract sculptures formed different shadows marking two or more significant days - e.g. the same sculptures might form one shadow on midsummer's day, and another on Armistice day.
hippo, Mar 16 2003
  

       In Montclair State University’s Art Gallery sculpture park:   

       // Among the most celebrated works is "Ophiuchus: The Serpent Bearer," by former professor Mac Adams. Located near Sprague Library, it is a fusion of art and science.   

       "Technically, the shadow sculpture is made of steel wedges, bars and disks that seemingly mean nothing sensible," [art gallery director Theresa] Rodriguez explained. "However, the breathtaking image emerges when the summer sun casts the shadow of the work from noon to approximately 1:15 p.m. between May and July of each year." //   

       Not quite the same, but not so different.   

       Actually my main worry would be that even if it shows a suitably tragic image at 11am on Armistice Day, or whatever, that unless the artist was incredibly clever, at some entirely unrelated time it would purely by accident look like a penis or spell out "Charlton Heston Must Die" or some such thing. I imagine that artophobic politicians and journalists would have a field day with even a mild resemblance.
pottedstu, Mar 16 2003
  

       Lostdog: I agree with bliss. You also have a beautiful writing style, which adds to the originality of the idea. Congratulations.
Pericles, Mar 16 2003
  

       Isn't it projects like this which are ALWAYS built on some special place and when there's a solar eclipse or something huge bloody japanese demons start trying to destroy the world?   

       ...   

       Sorry, I've been watching some manga.   

       Good idea though :)
Freelancer, Mar 17 2003
  

       Attention- this idea was actually written by me, but by some unknown error has been attributed to lostdog. I apologise for any confusion. I also wrote 'Panic Pin' and 'Hullaballoon'.
sambwiches, Mar 17 2003
  

       ...and the entire works of a certain Mr. Shakespeare.   

       I know. I have the same problem.   

       Damn that infinite monkey typing pool. Once they get on a roll, even copyright lawyers won't stop them.   

       Which is ironic, because you'd think that baboons could keep up...
lostdog, Mar 17 2003
  

       What does it take to get three croissants around here?
JRandMoby, Mar 17 2003
  

       You can't get three, 2.5 is the max. (WTAGIPBAN)   

       This reminds me of a huge bas-relief I saw in an architecture book once. I've lost track of it, which is a shame because I'd love to go visit this thing and see it in person.   

       Anyway, the idea was to put a portrait of some local hero on the side of a building. The fellow had lived a long and fruitful life, so the usual debate of whether to picture him in his younger days or as an old man resulted. The artist decided it would be neat to do both. How?   

       He constructed the portrait on the side of the building using thousands of tiny bricks that protruded from the face of the building by varying amounts. The bricks were cut at various angles so they would cast shadows of varying sizes.   

       It was designed so that in the morning, these hundreds of tiny shadows would form the "pixels" of the young portrait. As the sun moved during the day the shadows would change, causing the portrait would "morph" into the same man later in life. It was quite a beautiful concept, and from the pictures in the book it looked like it came across very well too.   

       I believe this building is in Europe. Anyone know where, exactly?
krelnik, Mar 18 2003
  

       shades (sorry) of Stonehenge, methinks...
ossian72, Oct 08 2003
  

       A year and a half later... this idea still fascinates me. Gracias [lost].
Pericles, Oct 09 2004
  

       mmm... Stonehenge?
SpocksEyebrow, May 06 2005
  

       Look at art by sue webster.
Yosarian, Dec 07 2005
  
      
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