Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Disk #4

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A few photos of Disk #4, a small and unassuming sculpture tucked away in a corner of NE Portland's Peninsula Park, just north of the rose garden. I can't find anything on the net about this beastie, so the plaque is all I know about it:

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I don't have any strong feelings about the sculpture itself, although it has a number of attributes I admire in public art: It's relatively small, inoffensive, not in anyone's way, and the Feds paid for it instead of local taxpayers, courtesy of the Comprehensive Employment & Training Act, or CETA. From what I've heard, CETA was a large and basically unsupervised pot of money with no strings attached, and you could get funded for just about anything if you had a good grant writer. I kind of miss those 70's-era warm-n-fuzzy, overly generous government programs; now it's just bluenosed control-freak Calvinism all across the political spectrum, and your only choice these days is whether you want a red nanny state or a blue one. Feh.

During the Reagan years, CETA was replaced by something called the Job Training Partnership Act, authored by the one and only Senator J. Danforth Quayle. Which is really all you need to know about that.

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In any case, I didn't stop and dally at Disk #4 because of its overall aesthetic merits, or lack thereof. Overall, I don't really have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. But like most bronze sculptures, it has an interesting surface texture. The day I took these was one of the summer's many bright overcast days, with that ugly blue-grey light you generally can't do anything with, photo-wise. That light made for some interesting reflections off the warm bronze of the sculpture, though. I think this is the first time that light's been useful for anything. And even then, it's only just useful, I wouldn't call it great or anything. I'd meant to do a post about the park as a whole, but these are the only photos I got that didn't totally suck. Seriously. Not even the roses came out ok. Bloody weather.

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