saying "it takes many to make a whole" describes Beverly Weiss
and Jim Modiano's commission at California State University, Chico.
Located in front of the Performing Arts Center, Morphogenesis
occupies the courtyard's "under-used space," bringing natural
elements and environmental concerns to an urban setting.
consists of many cone-shaped, concrete objects ("sub-units")
that are juxtaposed or stacked upon one another. This meticulous arrangement
creates a fluid line of arcs and hemispheres throughout the sculpture.
Morphogenesis's concept derives from the biological
model of cell growth. For example, the human fetus originates from one
cell that multiplies and interacts cohesively, contributing to the growth
of a complex, working system of organs, bones, and muscles - in other
words, a baby. Similarly, the sculpture's hundreds of conjoined geometric
shapes deny individual isolation. "Morphogenesis reminds
us that we are part of nature's web of relationships and interdependencies,"
state Weiss and Modiano. Appearing to move physically within its space,
the sculpture expands onto the courtyard's pavement, defying all imaginary
barriers that might prohibit its intrusion into the surrounding area.
Its monochromatic black color scheme symbolizes the obsidian deposits
of Chico's outlying wild lands, providing a reminder of the endangered
environment and the life within it.
serves as an "activating remedy" for the space it inhabits.
Originally part of a temporary exhibition, the university's decision
to demolish the sculpture (scheduled for May 2002) remains in question.
was destroyed as scheduled in the summer of 2002.