A&E

Goodbye, 'Aurora'

End of an era for interactive art installation

It's time to bid adieu to "Aurora," the 35-foot-tall interactive light sculpture that resides in City Hall's King Plaza. After two years, the enormous metal tree adorned with 4,200 handmade copper leaves lit by 40,000 LED lights, is coming down. Residents are hosting a farewell celebration on Saturday, Sept. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave. The event will feature music and performance artists. Harry Hirschman, who helped bring 'Aurora' to the city, said the artwork, which was created by San Francisco artist Charles Gadeken, will sit in storage for now but he hopes in the future it could be displayed permanently in the city. "We couldn't be happier or more thrilled at how well 'Aurora' has been received and appreciated," Hirschman said. "Though we're tinged with sadness that she's coming down, we are also elated with how well everything has gone."

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Posted by Marian Cortesi
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Why is Aurora leaving?


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2015 at 7:17 am

Since the Weekly usually likes puns in headlines, I am surprised to see it doesn't say "Au Revoir, Aurora". Anyway, I like the artwork and am sorry to see it go.

Since it is one of the nicest pieces of art in Palo Alto I also would like to know the reason why. Now I am also asking if we can get rid of some of the ugly pieces of art around town. Please.


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Posted by Another Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

I never understood the hype and hoopla over this tree sculpture -- it's mediocre art at best with a low-tech light scheme. Not something that fits with Palo Alto. Seems like no one has been willing to say this, but I know I am not alone in thinking this. Sorry.


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Posted by Elizabeth Schwyzer
arts & entertainment editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Sep 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Elizabeth Schwyzer is a registered user.

Aurora was part of the City of Palo Alto Public Art Program, and as such was always intended as a temporary installation.
Here's a response from Harry Hirschman, who helped bring the work to Palo Alto:
"The City has a very active and ambitious public art program, and it is centered on temporary art installations. In this way our city is always changing, evolving, and making room for new pieces. Much like the city facilitates innovation in technology, the city facilitates innovation in public art by making room for new pieces. Aurora is coming down to make room for what's next."


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Posted by Installation
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 25, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Has Harry decided on the next installation after the clean up of Aurora?


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Posted by Elizabeth Schwyzer
arts & entertainment editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Sep 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Elizabeth Schwyzer is a registered user.

The next temporary public art work to be installed on King Plaza will be Bruce Beasley's "Rondo I," images of which you can see on his website: brucebeasley.com/rondo-series.


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