WEATHER FIELD No.1
STAINLESS STEEL, MAGNESIUM
TONGVA PARK, SANTA MONICA, CA
CHRISTOPHER GRIMES PROJECTS
ACTIVE ALLOYS, JAMES CORNER FIELD OPERATIONS, SKIDMORE, OWINGS & MERRILL
Weather Field No. 1 is a site-specific sculpture composed of 49 telescoping stainless steel poles aligned in a grid. Alternating at heights of 19, 20 and 21 feet, each pole supports a weather vane and anemometer. These finely tuned instruments are designed to accurately respond to prevailing wind conditions, gauging wind speed and direction. In Weather Field, the close grouping of the poles augments the instruments’ standard function. Instead of mapping the wind in a conventional manner, the sculpture uses crowding to trigger and reveal a more mysterious phenomenon, turbulence. Weather Field strikes a balance between the order of the instrument grid and the unpredictable response of its kinetic elements to produce its own microclimate. The instruments influence and react to one another, flocking and schooling like birds in the air or fish in the sea.
Sited on Gathering Hill at the crest of a gentle berm of meadow grasses, Weather Field announces itself from a distance and can be viewed from a number of vantage points in the park. The rigid verticality of the stainless steel sculpture contrasts and compliments both the flowing landscaping beneath it and the natural forces at play in its canopy. Depending on which way the viewer approaches the sculpture the poles may align themselves as a transparent set of columns, or may reveal themselves to be a random forest of slender elements. Weather Field both gauges the viewer’s movement and facilitates navigation while allowing one to contemplate the weather. Weather Field is a constant reminder of our connection to both local and global conditions, and might also call to mind the subtle effects we each have on one another.