Work As Work of Art (Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art)


Good Evening:

In a city as committed to public art as San Francisco as it is to business, sometimes the two combine. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission headquarters on Golden Gate Avenue (my workplace) represents one such example:

SFPUC HQ, 16 May 2014, 1:30 p.m.

SFPUC HQ, 16 May 2014, 1:30 p.m.

The long strip in front is “Firefly,” one of two environmental sculptures by Ned Kahn that you will find in the building. “Firefly” never looks the same twice, thanks to the small clear plastic squares vibrating in the wind. What follows consists of a shot taken at 1:30 today, followed by a second take from approximately the same spot at 5:10. The late afternoon winds introduce a green element into the shot.

"Firefly" 1:30 p.m., 16 May 2014

“Firefly” 1:30 p.m., 16 May 2014

"Firefly" 5:10 p.m., 16 May 2014

“Firefly” 5:10 p.m., 16 May 2014

The entrance hall features another Kahn work, “Rain Portal,” a sort of fountain (for lack of a better term) with a sort of frieze of squiggly clear plastic pipes, down which drips drops of recycled water. Here is an extreme closeup of one of the panels.


And then there’s the “Escher stairway,” as I and only I call it. When the building opened, this became by far the most popular photographic subject of the people who worked there.


The Escher happens to rise directly behind “Firefly,” which yields an interesting sort of “instant Cubist” view of Northern San Francisco.


Methinks that “Work of Art” shall prove one of the most popular WP Photo Challenges ever. My city alone could yield a few dozen posts from yours truly alone.

Vonn Scott Bair


2 responses »

  1. Pingback: The Minimally Artistic Art of Instant Minimalist Art: Grey Series, Recent Pictures, 18 May 2014 (Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art) | The San Francisco Scene--Seen!

  2. Pingback: The “Escher Staircase,” 21 November 2014. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular) | The San Francisco Scene--Seen!

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