|On Liberty at Trade/OR-22 looking north|
|Leroy Setziol stone carving at Trade and Liberty|
Across Liberty is the Fire Station
A new outdoor sculpture arrived in Salem today! A remarkable stone carving by Leroy Setzoil. Congratulations to Salem for becoming the home of this wonderful piece. Congratulations to the Oregon Artists Series Foundation, (OASF), the City, and the Salem Public Arts Commission for bringing vibrancy to the downtown. This is Salem Progress, Salem moving forward....You probably will recognize Setziol's wood carvings from the library, where there is a large wood carved screen by the current periodicals display.
Another great improvement happening in Salem because of focused energy, selfless partnering, philanthropic vision and a crew who goes all in with great heart!
|On the other side of the sculpture is the park and a sign|
By itself, ornamenting this corner is not going to make it active. The new stone and gravel bed will be a novelty for a while, but soon it will fade into background noise.
In a more contemplative setting, it might evoke a Japanese zen garden, but the rivers of cars will neutralize much of its charm and interest. It seems like it's a little wasted here.
And how much "vibrancy" really is this going to add to downtown.
Until we are willing to think through more deeply our autoism, the way it degrades public space, and are more willing in public art and public space to alter carspace, it's just fiddling on the edges.
But you may have noticed a huge disturbance in the force over the weekend!
|Reporter at City Council last night|
It seems possible that this pioneer example of augmented reality is an actual game changer (above and beyond the fact of it being a game) in the way and reasons that people move in public space.
If you want vibrancy, the clear answer seems to be the Pokemon bestiary! Apparently it's already shaping restaurant promotions.
At the same time, a certain Luddite critique seems warranted:
How far are we until your VR life is far more interesting, far more pleasurable, than your real life? Not that far, I bet. Maybe 10 years. How far are we until your walk to work is better with augmented reality than without it? Well, Pokémon Go suggests we’re already there. I’m not much for sci-fi dystopias — I don’t think the robots will kill us all — but the world of Ready Player One, in which the future has devolved (or evolved) into people escaping a grim existence by living inside their VR consoles, seems perfectly plausible to me.It is premature to draw any firm conclusions from Pokemon Go and its successors. But it could be a real disruptor and innovator in the way we conceive of and manage public space.
Have you seen not just crowds but changes in the patterns of use in any public spaces you frequent?
And the augmented reality component could nearly institutionalize what some critics have tried to paint as dangerous "distracted walking." Will an epidemic of "distracted walking" actually normalize it and make us take more seriously the claim that people on foot have to public space, including the form we call a road?
No conclusions here - but so many questions!
|Food cart pod planned for the plaza behind Penney's|
(from a 1984 downtown plan)