Arbor Vitae, 1999
Making sense of the world is a process of making connections, using analogies and metaphors and the noticing of patterns. Many of the patterns we recognize and our process for organizing them are dendritic (branching) in form. Located in and on the façade of Coolbaugh Hall, the environmental sciences building at Colorado School of Mines, Arbor Vitae examines branching patterns in living and non-living things, going from micro to the macro. The image is derived from a satellite photograph of Colorado taken at an altitude of 350 miles. It reveals the dendritic nature of Colorado’s watersheds and stream networks. Because the surface is highly polished, reflected images of passing clouds can be seen moving by, much like what one would see from the vantage point of a satellite. Twenty-six images are set into the building entrance hall floor and walls, organized by living and non-living branching phenomenon.
Location: Coolbaugh Hall, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
Materials: photo etched polished black granite
Size: 12' x 15'
Collaborator: Ted Prescott
Sponsor: Colorado Council on the Arts