Assembling a beautiful mystery: Unfolding Humanity.

Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the iconic movie The Matrix.
Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the movie The Matrix.

Late today I swung by the University of San Diego to see something extraordinary.

The San Diego Geometry Lab, with the help of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program, is building a complex interactive sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. For a few minutes I admired the metal sculpture which stood outside by a campus parking lot, and watched as USD students and faculty worked to carefully assemble it.

Unfolding Humanity will be on public display this year during Burning Man, and the weekend of Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Once completed, people will be able to stand inside the hollow, 12 foot tall dodecahedron. When the mirrored sides fold close, those inside will see their myriad reflections amid thousands of programmable star-like LEDs. They will seem to stand at the center of the universe. The fantastic effect will almost certainly inspire awe and provoke thought. Awe at the beautiful symmetry and complexity of the universe, and thought about its mathematical structure and our place inside it.

This very cool sculpture is fascinating on various levels. The Matrix-like chamber provokes questions about the relationship between technology and humanity. The opening pentagonal walls relate to Albrecht Dürer’s 500-year-old mathematical problem concerning the unfolding of polyhedra. Most interesting to me, the mathematical structure of the universe, based on observations of cosmic radiation, is thought to resemble that of a dodecahedron–the shape of Unfolding Humanity. Standing inside the sculpture might in some way help us sense the mysterious structure of the cosmos itself.

This artwork reminds us all that the universe’s existence, and our existence inside it, is ultimately a profound mystery. As the Unfolding Humanity website states: We human beings do not know who we are, and that is who we are.

Today when I attended Unfolding Humanity’s announced debut, I was under the impression the project was completed. But it turns out construction is ongoing. I learned the interactive sculpture should be finished in perhaps a week or so.

Please visit the San Diego Geometry Lab website. You’ll learn more about the artwork’s conception, historical significance and symbolism. You’ll see cool external and internal renderings of Unfolding Humanity based on a computer model, plus an animation of how it will open and close once completed!

Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Exterior panels haven't been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Exterior panels haven’t been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Four beautiful sculpted faces in Balboa Park.

A beautiful sculpture in the Balboa Park Club building. Four Cornerstones of American Democracy,1935, by artist Frederick Schweigardt.
A beautiful sculpture in the Balboa Park Club building. Four Cornerstones of American Democracy,1935, by artist Frederick Schweigardt.

Today I took my usual Sunday walk through Balboa Park. On a whim I ventured into the Balboa Park Club to see if many people were folk dancing, and I paused inside the grand foyer to once again admire the room’s monumental mural and central sculpture.

The latter is called Four Cornerstones of American Democracy. It was created by Frederick Schweigardt in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Each graceful figure represents one of four ideals.

While I’ve walked past this sculpture many times, today I was really struck by the simplicity of the four bowed faces. They convey both beauty and strength.

If you want to see more of the grand foyer, and learn a bit about its history, I blogged about it a couple years ago here.

School.
School.
Home.
Home.
Church.
Church.
Community.
Community.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Art exhibit paints colors of Southern California!

Earthlab, 2017, by artist Eva Struble. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Optimistic and energetic colors depict small San Diego farms.
Earthlab, 2017, by artist Eva Struble. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Optimistic and energetic colors depict small San Diego farms.

Today I enjoyed some stimulating artwork at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Their current exhibition is called High-Key: Color in Southern California, and for a very good reason.

Palm greens, desert tans and ocean blues are primary colors in our region’s sunny landscapes.

Additional vibrant colors live in our diverse urban centers. Like neon and surfboards, lowriders and pinatas, our local culture is saturated with bold, bright color.

High-Key: Color in Southern California can be enjoyed at the San Diego Art Institute through August 12, 2018.

If you visit Balboa Park this summer, you might want to check it out!

Visitor to the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park absorbs the exhibition of High-Key: Color in Southern California.
Visitor to the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park at the exhibition of High-Key: Color in Southern California.
Chaparral (II), 2018, by artist Audrey Hope. Canvas and hand wound rope. Swaths of colorful fabric are suggestive of San Diego's natural landscape.
Chaparral (II), 2018, by artist Audrey Hope. Canvas and hand wound rope. Swaths of colorful fabric are suggestive of San Diego’s hilly, arid natural landscape.
Green, Red-Orange, 2018, by artist Michael James Armstrong. Acrylic sheet, fluorescent light, spray paint.
Green, Red-Orange, 2018, by artist Michael James Armstrong. Acrylic sheet, fluorescent light, spray paint.
Untitled, 2018, by artist Joshua Moreno. Watercolor, watercolor pencil, gouache, marbling, spray paint.
Untitled, 2018, by artist Joshua Moreno. Watercolor, watercolor pencil, gouache, marbling, spray paint.
Cleaning Portrait; Whisk #1, 2017, by artist Claudia Cano. Acrylic on paper. A cleaning tool used by a hardworking Mexican immigrant laborer.
Cleaning Portrait; Whisk #1, 2017, by artist Claudia Cano. Acrylic on paper. A cleaning tool used by a hardworking Mexican immigrant laborer.
More artwork splashed with the vibrant colors of Southern California.
More artwork splashed with the vibrant colors of Southern California.
Rhubarb Moon, 2018, by artist John Oliver Lewis. Porcelain, acrylic.
Rhubarb Moon, 2018, by artist John Oliver Lewis. Porcelain, acrylic.
Paradise Prototype, 2018, by artist Allison Wiese. Cast sugar. Patterned concrete blocks were popular in Southern California architecture in the 1950s and 60s.
Paradise Prototype, 2018, by artist Allison Wiese. Cast sugar. Patterned concrete blocks were popular in Southern California in the 1950’s and 60’s.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Lobster traps, shadows create a cool matrix.

I got some cool photos yesterday when I walked past new lobster traps on a pier. The cage-like traps and their shadows, which were cast on a clean flat surface, created an illusion of strange dimension and space that captured my eye.

These grids of metal and shadow remind me of some unusual sculptural artwork I recently blogged about in the gallery of San Diego’s Central Library.

The following images almost look like molecules arranged in a matrix. Intersecting parallel lines seem to form an abstract, mathematical, three dimensional space.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Life is a stimulating adventure!

Tuna fishermen remembered at Piazza Pescatore.

Piazza Pescatore is a beautiful place to relax and linger at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Fir Street.
Piazza Pescatore is a beautiful place where neighbors can relax and mingle at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Fir Street.

In Little Italy, at the corner of and Kettner Boulevard and Fir Street, you’ll find Piazza Pescatore. The small community gathering place features a bronze sculpture and beautiful fountain, and plaques that remember the history of the many hard-working tuna fishermen that inhabited this San Diego neighborhood decades ago.

The artists who created this cool public artwork are sculptor Gregory Reade and mosaic artist Kim Emerson.

A bronze sculpture of a tuna fishermen holding his catch. Piazza Pescatore was donated by Bumble Bee Seafoods, which is headquartered in San Diego.
A bronze sculpture of a tuna fishermen holding his catch. Piazza Pescatore was donated by Bumble Bee Seafoods, which is headquartered in San Diego.
A plaque honors the men and women of the tuna industry who helped build San Diego's Little Italy.
A plaque honors the men and women of the tuna industry who helped build San Diego’s Little Italy.
More plaques at Piazza Pescatore honor those who helped to make San Diego the tuna capital of the world during much of the 20th century.
More plaques at Piazza Pescatore honor those who made San Diego the tuna capital of the world during much of the 20th century.
A colorful circle of artwork on the nearby sidewalk shows women with baskets and bountiful fresh fish.
A colorful circle of artwork on the nearby sidewalk shows women with baskets and bountiful fresh fish.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Cool photos of Pacific Soul at night!

Here are some very cool photos!

Early this morning, while it was still dark, I moved curiously around (and inside) the new Jaume Plensa sculpture Pacific Soul in downtown San Diego. Bright lights shining up from beneath the sculpture give its hollow but extremely complex form weird substance. Every angle fascinated my eyes.

If you’d like to learn more about this amazing public art, which now stands at the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway near the Embarcadero, visit my original blog post, where several months ago, over the period of several days, I documented Pacific Soul’s installation. In that post I also provided some information about Jaume Plensa, who is a world-renowned artist from Spain.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Searching for street art in Chula Vista.

Some cool street art near the corner of E Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Chula Vista.
Some cool street art near the corner of E Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Chula Vista.

Late this morning I took a walk through one section of Chula Vista. I headed east on E Street from the trolley station, south on Broadway, then back west on H Street. I drive through this commercial area once in a while and haven’t noticed much in the way of street art, but I hoped I’d find some fun examples during my walk.

I found almost none.

Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, with many neighborhoods that are beautiful. The section I walked through is bit more on the gritty side. The streets are lined with auto repair shops, tire stores, old strip malls, motels and trailer parks. Many utility boxes–and building walls–are spray painted not with murals but gang graffiti.

I did meet some very nice people during my walk. Others looked at me a bit strangely as I carried my camera down the sidewalk.

Another side of the same box, one block from the E Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
Another side of the same box, one block from the E Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
Hastily scrawled graffiti is more common on the electrical boxes in this gritty section of Chula Vista.
Hastily scrawled graffiti is more common on the electrical boxes in this part of Chula Vista.
Fading art on base of wall on Broadway, around the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers IAM Local 755 parking lot. I am defending our freedoms.
Fading art on base of wall on Broadway, around the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers IAM Local 755 parking lot. I am defending our freedoms.
An unusual rusted metal sculpture near the front of Fiesta Hall Chula Vista on H Street.
An unusual rusted metal sculpture near the front of Fiesta Hall Chula Vista on H Street.
This walk is just about completed. I've arrived near the H Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
This walk is just about completed. I’ve arrived near the H Street station of the San Diego Trolley.
A small plaque among some flowers. Chula Vista Transit Center. November 1981.
A small plaque among some flowers. Chula Vista Transit Center. November 1981.
A nearby utility box is painted with colorful designs.
A nearby utility box is painted with colorful designs.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!