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Fixes planned for Palo Alto's iconic egg sculpture

Original post made on Dec 16, 2011

Palo Alto's famous circuit-board egg sculpture, "Digital DNA," may soon receive a major facelift -- and it won't be cheap. The iconic Lytton Plaza landmark, which had originally cost the city $9,950, would cost over $80,000 to restore, the city's Public Arts Commission learned Thursday evening.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 16, 2011, 2:48 PM

Comments (34)

Posted by It's-Not-Art
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

And just how much would it cost to just cart if off and forget about it?

Posted by Please....
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Can you say Bamboozled....

Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

What a joke, Throw the thing away and give the money to the SCHOOLS. Somebody has their head where the sun dont shine to want to spend money to fix a piece of art.
In fact, if it was made so shoddy, get the ARTIST to fix the thing.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Who is the Artist that designed and made It?
Crack the EGG!!

Posted by bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Famous? How about "infamous"? Why do some many splinter groups in Palo Alto think they can milk the skimpy General Revenue fund for their pet projects? Looks like the sculptor will have a life time job if the egg continues to deteriorate from outdoor exposure - new resin or no.

Most popular sculpture? Almost every on line comment I've read was negative - including this blog. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whose eye thinks this joke is beautiful?

Save the money for a worth while cause and dump the egg.

Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

This is insulting! 80,000 to redo an ugly egg. Wow!!! Please do something more useful with this money. Make a few sculptures with local artists, give it to art programs in our schools, do something that matters. Varella is not a local artist, shd is not even from this country. Why don't we place the egg in a "museum" and give the opportunity to local artists to create something more meanifull and that looks good?

Posted by What??
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I would love to find a big hill and watch it roll.
$80,000 ! what the hell is this women doing? Is she buying new computers to get the circuit boards?? That stuff can be had for free.
It belongs to the city now. I say palo alto should let other artists bid on fixing it.
Hell I'm no artist and I'll sell my services to palo alto. I'll glue on new circuit boards and coat it with epoxy.
What the hell I'm really mad about this

Posted by Will
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Only in Palo Alto would a jumble of e-waste have an $80,000 repair tag! Yes, it's e-waste, and I suppose, that too is a legacy of Silicon Valley. If Mr. Lage has $80,000 he's willing spend to hot glue a bunch of broken circuit boards back together in exchange for a plaque, I would invite him to reconsider. Perhaps Mr. Lage would consider making a more worthy donation towards urban art, art in the schools (excellent suggestion Ann) or anything else for that matter, and receive some well deserved recognition for his generosity.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Sounds like it need to be planted with some video cameras in hopes of catching the violent incidents that seem to happen right in that location ... maybe cameras can plug right into some of those existing PC boards ... how about giving it some wheels so it can wander around town and see what's going on, who's getting mugged or hit by a baseball bat?

Seriously, I always disliked that scupture, and the feeling was intensified the close I got to it and saw how ugly it really is close up. We can't do any better than this? No wonder they had to go to China to get the new statue of MLK. Sheesh!

Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Once upon a time Lytton Plaza was a really pretty place, with a nice atmosphere. Then the city remodeled it into a stark, cold, unfriendly, harshly lit dismal stone- surfaced glaring corner lot with an outdoor urinal. It could have been beautiful, and
that egg is a big joke. Get rid of it. If the city spends one dime on this, some heads should roll.

Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

The ugly egg is just a giant piece of e-waste.
A reminder for all of us to think twice before buying more short lived electronic junk, or e-waste disguised as art.
This is one rotten egg. It is too toxic to be disposed.
We need to call a certified e-waste hauler with a chain of custody to ensure proper disposal.
The artist probably laughed all the way to the bank.
The art commission has never represented the majority views of the citizens of this city.
The commission needs to budget removal of other pieces of rusty metal art littering the public areas in our city.

Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 17, 2011 at 2:51 am

I agree, the ugly egg is just a giant piece of e-waste!

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 17, 2011 at 7:48 am

If it were made of copper we wouldn't have to worry about it because it would be stolen by now. Regarding maintenance-intensive sculptures, which landfill did our Foreign Friends at Waverley and Embarcadero end up in?

Posted by 99% Occupier
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

The problem with our City Council is that they are all, without exception, members of the one percent club, so it's very easy for them to waste $80,000 to refurbishing that ugly e-waste digital egg!!! $80,000 is chump change to them!!

Posted by Casey Leedom
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Please just remove the thing. It's been an eyesore ever since it was installed. Honestly, Palo Alto has some of the worst "public art" I've ever seen in any city and the egg presents itself as the acme of this Bad Art. Please take the rich housewives off the Art's Council and put real artists on it.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I'd like to hear from the PA Art Commissioners. Chime in, defend this steaming heap of "art", if you can.

Posted by FIrst time caller
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:51 am

It was a novelty when originally installed. I actually thought it was a temporary showing rather than a permanent sculpture. $80,000? What does a cop or fire fighter make annually? After 20 years, it may be time to leave Palo Alto for a saner city.

Posted by Riff Raff
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

I always liked the original sculpture and it seemed to fit well in Lytton Plaza. Since Lytton Plaza has been remodeled why not make a new "Digital DNA" such as a sculpture of a "Double Helix" instead.

Posted by Charlotte
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

How about we take the egg money and direct it to keeping the Hamilton post office open??

Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

More insanity.

“…artist Adriana Varella called for complete and urgent restoration of the sculpture based on continued exposure to the sun, rain and human touch.”

Why was it put outside if it wasn’t meant to be touched or exposed to the elements?

“… the artist wants to take the time to re-do the sculpture properly.”

Why didn’t she do it right the first time and why was she paid multiple times for multiple mistakes?

“… so I'm a little apprehensive about the budget," says Art Commissioner Richter.

Just a LITTLE apprehensive? After all the refurbs and taxpayer money wasted?

“… one of Palo Alto's most popular sculptures…”

Says who?

"The commission has supported multiple restorations of the sculpture in the past, paying to replace circuit boards and recoat the egg in protective resin. In 2010, the commission doubled the maintenance budget for the sculpture and denied the artist's request to "gold plate" the egg.”

What fantasyland does this artist live in? She obviously believes all the hype the art commission has been feeding her. Time to get rid of the egg, the artist and the commission!

Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 19, 2011 at 10:34 am

It's hard to imagine, that during these very challenging financial times, that anyone would consider spending a nickel on this project. Our city leaders have spent the past several years describing this unprecedented budget crisis, but yet they still mull over expenditures such as these. It makes no sense. If we are indeed facing a financial crisis as they say, then why are we spending money on public art, park refurbishing, playground construction, and bike bridges? All at the expense of public safety and vital infrastructure needs. Deep cuts have been made in areas of need, while the purses are open for non-essential projects. Enough already and have your actions back up your rhetoric.

Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

"$80,000"? thats it? Does that figure include the cost of having City departments and city staff spend countless hours working on this issue? Getting estimates, reviewing bids, legal paperwork, creating reports to commissions and council? etc etc etc.
I'm sure the real total cost will be much greater than $80,000.

Posted by No Yoke!
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm

This one has truly laid an egg.

Posted by guest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Get rid of it. POS.

Posted by finally?
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Oh,yeah,this shit,I thought it has been done and gone already.

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm

How about taking it to the dump? Oh wait, we no longer have a dump or recycling center. Well, let's donate this piece of trash to the artist who made it! And she can keep it in HER yard.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Whaddya say we take the egg and Go Momma (California Ave.) and roll them into oblivion? At no taxpayers' cost.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Posted by Charlotte, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

How about we take the egg money and direct it to keeping the Hamilton post office open??

Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

Maybe public art in the city should be on a renewable 5-year contract: Every 5 years, the public is can vote on whether to keep each piece. If people like a particular art work, then it stays for another 5 years. If a piece gets thumbs-down, then it goes back to the artist, and the Arts Commission selects another work to take its place.

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

Great idea!! And may be The Public can vote on what to bring to PA in the first place--I am sick and tired of multiple pieces of ugly art made by minimally talented friends of members of our Art Commission (like "yo, mama," the ridiculous bottle house at city hall, and "The Color of Palo Alto") being shoved down our throats--what a waste of money!! Not to mention the absurd "Egg"-- if it's famous, the reason is that other communities are laughing at Palo Alt for being so foolish as to pay huges sums of money for someone else's recycling. (I do like the sculpture in front of the MSC, though.)

Zdo like the sculpture in front if the MSC, though.)

Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Dec 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

WilliamR, how dare you insinuate that regular citizens should be able to override the decisions of art experts? It is extremely ungrateful of you.

Posted by Art lover
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 21, 2011 at 3:23 am

Iconic? You can't be serious. Recycle the darned thing!

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

Famous? No. Infamous? Yes.

Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

History of the egg at Web Link Worth reading to see how the city paid for the egg twice.

The artist said of the design, “It reminds me (of) the Faberge eggs given as a gift to the Russian imperial family." Such modesty!

While the egg was being built in the artist’s garage, her neighbor mistook it for junk and tossed it. That’s someone we should have on the art commission!

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