There is a limited edition of 150,000 golden tiles. The metal grid along the wall has a pattern of holes; each can hold one tile. There are supervised tours of the wastewater plant, often for schoolchildren. When a visitor turns the valve on the faucet and gets a golden tile (only one per visitor on the tour), there is a choice. One can take the tile home, or can attach it to the wall. Neither choice is wrong. There is something seductive about keeping the tile-- it's pretty; it's a memory of the visit, and about putting it on the wall -- you will be making your mark within a community; you will be adding to the wall that changes every day. If 30,000 people visit the plant each year as predicted, it will take 5 years for the limited edition to run out. After that, the tiles on the wall will be taken down, and recycled into the the faucet, which will then dispense them again. The piece has a life-span, as do our natural resources. The shortest lifespan it could have, if not a single person puts their tile on the wall, is 5 years. There's no guessing what its longest life-span will be.
Brightwater Treatment System, Seattle WA.
Commissioned by 4Culture.
245’ X 5’ X 5’, aluminum, steel, mechanical parts, 150,000 golden tiles.
Public Art Coordinator: Cath Brunner
Engineering, fabrication, and installation: AFX Milwaukee
Studio assistants: Benjamin Cohen, Natalia Porter, Lynn Paik
Thanks to Michael Popinwy and Molly Deardorff
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