FLOW.12: Laura Kaufman

The Project: Meters To The Center

Meters To The Center reflected on the monumental dimensions of our solar system by relating them to the scale of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The bridge is an engineered object of such magnitude that its numbers–of cars, of cubic feet, and even of miles of subroads–elevate it beyond it a human scale. The contradiction of its presence on Randall’s Island is that, while the three-pronged structure looms, the island is a refuge where New Yorkers can experience expansive space and a connection to the sky and even the planet. Meters To The Center was a bench-height sculpture in three parts whose shape mimicked the shape and orientation of the bridge when viewed from a satellite. Each arm of the three-pronged sculpture was composed of numbers cast in a concrete compound. These three numbers were the approximate distances in meters from the surface of the island to the centers of the earth, moon, and sun. The scales of these celestial bodies and the big numbers that represent them dwarf the measurements of our daily existence. The bridge’s monumentality spans not only the commute between the boroughs but also the elastic distances our eyes and minds travel between the earth and the sky.

The Artist: Laura Kaufman

Laura Kaufman’s work is inspired by the gaps between the known and unknown and the universal search for insight into the natural, constructed, and spiritual worlds. She examines the fluidity of perception and the means used to study aspects of the natural world, whether telescopes, measurements, or patterns. She studied at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York (BA, 1995), School of Visual Arts, New York, New York (1999-2001), and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (MFA, 2004).

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