Silicon Valley Plans to Erect a Monument to Itself

  • photo: ARTFIXdaily

  • Android Pie sculpture at the Googleplex in Mountain View.

    Android Pie sculpture at the Googleplex in Mountain View.

    photo:ARTFIXdaily

Silicon Valley has a new initiative underway for a landmark that speaks to the tech hub's influence. 

Mounting "techlash" over the role Facebook and other companies have in undermining public life are behind this need for Silicon Valley to "cement its legacy in the built environment," claims Boston-based The Atlantic

A desire for a memorable landmark in the shadow of rival San Francisco could be another reason.

San Jose City Council will mull over a proposal for an international design competition for the monument this week. 

Scan the Silicon Valley skyline, and there is no signature feature like an Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge or even a low-slung Chicago 'Cloud Gate' to lure visitors and locals. The biggest thing to see from a vantage point is Moffett Field, massive airfield hangars that are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Slated for Arena Green, a public park in San Jose, the plan to create an "artistic and iconic" landmark will be brought before the city council by nonprofit San Jose Light Tower Corporation, which hopes to raise multimillions of dollars from donors. 

In Silicon Valley, such a landmark will certainly be a point of interest in a sea of sameness. "Forgettable and ugly," is the description by The Atlantic for the prevailing office park architecture in what was once known as the "Valley of Heart's Delight" for oodles of apricot orchards.

A landmark would also welcome the public to gather in a place where the coolest environments are kept largely private. For one, the $5-billion dollar, Foster + Partners-designed Apple Park, appears like an inaccessible spaceship on 175 acres in Cupertino. 

But in a region where the draw is private sector innovation---what kind of major public monument would please the masses and symbolize the place itself? "Capturing the tech world in one sculpture or structure or art installation will be a difficult job," notes The New York Times.

 

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