The Walter and Elise Haas Fund created The West Wall Project to recognize and support some of the talented artists who have received Creative Work Fund grants. Every 18 months, an artist is commissioned to create an original work for display on the west wall of the Fund’s offices at One Lombard Street in San Francisco. At the end of the display period, the Fund returns the artwork to the artist who contributes it in an appropriate form to a nonprofit organization of his or her choosing. The Fund’s business is philanthropy, and this commissioning project emphasizes the idea of giving.

We Are Everything We Are Not was was commissioned in January of 2012 and ran through July of 2013. 

My statement about the piece...

Paddling across a body of water initiates a symphony of reactions as waves propagate from the sides of the boat, fish dive away from the bow, eddies drift in the wake, animals ashore react, birds respond. In the distance life returns to normal but it has been inexorably changed, however slightly.

We Are Everything We Are Not is a reflection on the nature of our personal and collective meanderings. It is a response to the self-oriented lens through which we tend to view the world. Our actions often have implications far beyond the span of our attention and the reach of our vision.

The piece is meant to encourage us to broaden our attention to encompass both the intended and hidden consequences of our endeavors. But primarily, it is meant to be a delightful and thought provoking encounter.

When the handle is turned it rotates a series of offset cams which pull and distort crumpled mylar panels along the sides of the boat. Gradually super bright LEDs fade up and reveal water like reflections on the surrounding wall. There is also a soundtrack which emanates from the piece.

Check out the VIDEO below to get a small sense of how the piece worked.