Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pods 15, 16, 19

Here are Pods 15, 16, 19, formerly located in Lake Oswego's Evergreen Park, at 3rd & Evergreen. Lake Oswego has an unusual public art program: Every year, a crop of new pieces is selected to go on display in town for the next two years. Typically they're also for sale, and the brochure even lists price tags. That would never fly in Portland; we like to pretend art isn't a commercial activity, and everyone here just does art purely for art's sake and people live off of grants, or trust funds, or working as baristas, or something, and they certainly don't sell things for cash money, like, eewww.

In any case, at the end of each two year rotation, the citizens of Lake Oswego are asked to vote for one piece to buy for the city's permanent collection; Pods 15, 16, 19 was up for a vote in May 2007, leading to the one terse description of it I can find on the interwebs: "Pods #15, 16, 19 by Kate Simmons, located in Evergreen Park, at Evergreen and Third.". Apparently the voters chose one of the other candidates, since the pods aren't there anymore. Which is a shame, I think.

The only other Pod I've seen on the interwebs is in a 2002 Seattle Times article, profiling someone's artsy Pearl District loft in Portland. In two of the photos, an unnumbered Pod can be seen leaning against a wall.

I was looking at these Pod photos, trying to figure out what they reminded me of. I think I've figured it out, but it's kind of an strange reference. They somewhat resemble birds' nests made of steel rods, which made me think of a car, oddly enough. The 1959 "Birdcage" Maserati Tipo 60/61 has an internal frame made with a ridiculous number of little metal tubes welded together. Which makes the car very light, and also very expensive and labor intensive to produce. Looking at photos of it now, I realize this frame structure looks nothing like a Pod, any more than it looks like an actual birdcage. So it's not really a useful reference or analogy or anything, but it seemed sufficiently off the wall that I figured I'd pass it along anyway, for entertainment value if nothing else. Plus this is going to be a very short post if I don't find a tangent or two to wander off on.

Speaking of which, a quick note on the location. Lake Oswego's parks department doesn't list an official Evergreen Park. This is just the mostly city-owned vacant lot behind City Hall, and "Evergreen Park" is sort of an unofficial term that's sometimes used for it. In 2011 it was considered but rejected as a site for a new police, court & emergency communications building. But the "park" could still go away if the city needs a site for something else that doesn't need quite so many parking spaces, access for emergency vehicles, or have requirements around "blast protection" (as if the Evildoers have ever even heard of Lake Oswego.) Anyway, there's different art there now than what you see here, and either next spring or the spring after that it'll rotate out in favor of something else.

No comments :