http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2013/11/11/palo-alto-to-unveil-huge-light-sculpture-saturday


Town Square

Palo Alto to unveil huge 'light sculpture' Saturday

Original post made on Nov 11, 2013

A two-year grassroots effort led by a Palo Alto father and his two young children to bring a 35-foot-tall interactive light sculpture to the city will come to fruition this weekend when it is unveiled in City Hall's King Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 11, 2013, 10:43 PM

Comments

Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm

This is a fantastic news for the city. The sculpture looks absolutely beautiful and purposeful from the pictures. It is a modern interpretation of an interactive art.

A couple of Christmas' ago, my family and I saw a neighborhood tree decorated and lit with tiny LED lights. The effects was magical at night. This one is going to be a super magical scene for the entire family.


Posted by Garden Gnome, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

"A lot of people keep saying, 'Why do you need money if it's already made?'" Gadeken said. " One, there's a big difference between putting something on sidewalk for a year and staging it for a two-day festival. So trying to make things that are weatherproof and publicly safe has just been very expensive."

So, is the sculpture "publicly safe"? And if not, why is it being set before the public?


Posted by Old Palo Alto, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

A lot of money being spent on one man's dream ..... the money is desperately needed in other areas
in our City ....If Mr. Gadeken wants to pay for his wish himself - alright, otherwise lets put the
expense money to better use.


Posted by High tech Christmas lights, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Harry Hirschman is an expert in corporate marketing. He has done an expert marketing job on the city.
I can't tell from the pictures whether it is beautiful or grotesque. If the inventor wants to donate his elaborate high-tech Christmas decoration to the city rather than put it on his own lawn, ok.
The city should not spend MY money to subsidize a private enterprise. [Portion removed.]


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm

They have plenty of work to do before Saturday afternoon. I plan to be there for first light! Quite a leap of faith on funding. I'll give somebody an A+ on marketing with all those kids in the kickstarter video. Looks like potentially the most popular public art Palo Alto may ever see. Doorstep of City Hall is a great place for it, and certainly a better use for 40,000 LEDs than a digital billboard on 101.


Posted by Interested resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

This is a great project from start to finish - we may not all love Aurora but you gotta love kids being empowered to see a project through to the finish line. The City of Palo Alto has public art which is funded by developer fees - why not tap into that pocket and make the 101 Lytton developers pay us back for the inconvenience of losing one lane of Alma Street for their construction of that monster building? Seems like a good trade.


Posted by Stretch, a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Aurora was beautiful at Burning Man, and it will look great in front of City Hall. The artist is raising the money for it, instead of having the City pay, so what could be better? That way, no one should be able to complain that the money would be better spent on something else. I wish I could be there on the 16th to see it light up.


Posted by AlexDeLarge, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I saw this at the 'Burn, it was kool, I was kinda high doe...


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Alex De Large I saw clockwork before you were even born. Get over it. And yourself.


Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

"is the sculpture "publicly safe"?"

Who cares. The Lytton Plaza Egg is full of toxic metals, but nobody gripes.


Posted by Artrules, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Thank you Charles and 'Aurora Kids'! This is an incredible piece that will delight all who view it and it has already fostered the kind of community and empowerment that we often hear of and seldom see. It takes an inspired artist and community to bring this to life and I hope that the support is there to make these type of projects feasible into the future


Posted by Downtown Fan, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

This is so great for downtown! Something as big and high-tech as Aurora is going to turn a lot of heads. The artist is taking all the financial risk b/c he's got faith that private citizens will step up... good for him! The city has a budget for public art already. Some of that should go towards Aurora. It fits PA in so many ways.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

To each his or her own I guess, but whenever I see something like this in my yard I take a broom to it and sweep it away before baby bugs start crawling out of it! ;-)


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

Quite a zoo yesterday evening. The Aurora tree looks very nice and fits the plaza well. Looking forward to a news article and the opinions generated.


Posted by Marrol, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm

We should not be spending a single nickel of public funds on this or any other form of art until our city leaders and elected officials can offer a plan to pay for our sorely needed and vital infrastructure and public safety needs without another tax increase. It's called having some priorities and demonstrating the leadership to carry it out. This is just another example of misguided priorities and a waste of time and money.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 18, 2013 at 5:17 am

We should not be spending a single minute on celebration, recreation, or entertainment until we solve the problems of the universe. This is just another example of misguided priorities and a waste of time and money.


Posted by Marrol, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

No Musical, I'm not saying that we shouldn't spend on celebration, recreation, or entertainment. All I'm saying is that the city has no current financial plan or means of paying for our vital and essential infrastructure needs without the passage of another bond measure and tax increase. One of the primary reasons that we got into this financial mess is because they continue to spend on frivolous, non-essential projects and services. Pay the bills with the current budget, and then discuss what art projects the city wants to invest in. It's called logic and common sense.


Posted by Marrol, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

And I never suggested solving the problems of the universe. Extreme arguments such as that represent utter nonsense. What we do need to do is solve our budget problem which can better be accomplished through wise spending, reasonable cutbacks, and outsourcing select services.


Posted by Anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Marrol, public art is not your personal priority. That's great. But it is a priority in this city and this city is better for it. You are entitled to your opinions, but they are necessarily what is right for everyone. There is no reason such a wealthy and educated community can't have healthy infrastructure and art.


Posted by Marrol, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Anon, of course I realize that public art is not any one citizen's personal property. I'm not certain what point you were trying to make with that comment, but getting back to the debate. You state that a wealthy and educated community like Palo Alto should have both a healthy infrastructure and public art. I agree, one would think so. However that is sadly not the case. Our city has been facing long running budget deficits. They admittedly have no feasible financial plan to fund our long overdue, critical civic needs that exit in the area of infrastructure and public safety without floating another bond measure and tax increase. One of the primary reasons we find ourselves in this financial mess is because of our frivolous spending on non-essential, feel good projects and services. So to respond to your rebuttal, what I believe addresses the greater good for our community is to have our city leaders and elected officials pay for our essential needs through the existing budget, and when that's done, see what we have left to allocate to projects that represent a want and not a need.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 19, 2013 at 4:17 am

Agreed -- extreme arguments represent utter nonsense. I had hoped this thread would generate comments on artistic merit or appropriateness of the subject installation. I guess the jury is still out, or people who sit at their computer screens don't wander downtown much. Discussion of Palo Alto infrastructure and financial condition might have a wider audience under other news stories. This particular artwork appears mostly self funded, although the kickstarter campaign may come up short, currently at half its target amount with 6 days left. Looks like the city waived an arbitrary $1200 permit fee. Even if funded by some art-tax, it's debatable whether that would be money somehow taken away from general obligations.


Posted by Anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Marrol dear, I said "priority" not property.

This piece is primarily privately funded. And what money the city did put in came from funds are allocated for this type of project not for infrastructure. It would be illegal to use them for something else. That would be like taking the library bond monies and using them to fix the gutter on your house.


Posted by Marrol, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I stand corrected Anon. Thank you for pointing that out. You do bring up an excellent point with your rain gutter analogy. Back it up just a bit. If a homeowner has leaking rain gutters or a roof, it would not be wise for them to allocate household budget money to buy a new piece of expensive art, especially if they don't have the money to fix the leaks. The piece of art may be desired, but it's not essential. Our city leaders and elected officials have essentially done the same thing with our city budget. They allocate and spend on non-essential projects and services while incapable of balancing the city budget and shelving our critical needs in infrastructure and public safety for decades. On top of that, after all of that irresponsible spending, they have the nerve to return to we tax payers and ask for more money to pay for needs that should have been budgeted and paid for years ago.


Posted by Anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Well stated Marrol. I disagree with your basic premise as I see the funds as two different non connected buckets and you see a connection with them. I do however agree that there are basic structural needs that could be met better. They are not as neglected, in my opinion, as they are in yours. I happen to also believe that art is at least as important as some of the infrastructure needs, not all of them, but many of them.

So I guess we will just have to agree on some parts and disagree on others.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

Aurora's Kickstarter campaign successfully reached its $35K pledge goal by last night's deadline. I had my doubts going into the home-stretch. Fees will eat up almost 10% of the final amount, but I guess that's a modest cost for fundraising these days.