Location: Chemistry & Advanced Materials Science Building, University of Minnesota,

Date: 2019

Materials: Stainless Steel, Local Stone

Dimensions: 20’-8”h x 7’-6”w x 21’-7”d

Commissioning Agent: University of Minnesota

Description: The gesture and spirit of Polytropos celebrates the present and future pursuit of learning, research and discovery for the new CAMS building. 

Inspired in part by the diversity and complexity of ongoing faculty research and interdisciplinary work at CAMS the physical form of this work makes reference to the dynamic web of ideas and knowledge that sustain us. Through learning and discovery, interconnections are observed and new possibilities arise, continually changing the way we understand the world and our relationship to it through time. 

Local stone, from Virginia, MN is carefully placed on the ground plane beneath the sculpture, echoing the unique geographic/geological provenance of the area surrounding Duluth and Lake Superior.

The pattern, for the water jet cut stainless steel plates, is sourced from photos of water droplets on funnel-web spider webs.  Each web structure is intricate, unique and ephemeral, dependent on local ground vegetation for its structural support. The resulting abstracted, and drawn patterns used, evoke awareness of how matter fills space microscopically and macroscopically.

My intention is to create a charged sculptural environment, alive with possible interpretation and visual pleasure, a place for students and faculty to gather and enjoy throughout the year.

The dynamic structure of the artwork as seen from a distance or close proximity, day or night, creates a changing interplay of light and apparent form. Polytropos will continuously reflect the changing angle of sunlight and particular weather patterns throughout the day and year.