Traffic of Ideas
University Way Northeast and Northeast 50th Street
Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds and Community Donations
Twenty-one oversized cast bronze books and 80 bronze pages tumble over the University Heights Gateway arch. They compromise the artwork component of the University Multi-Modal plan, a streetscape improvement project focused on University Way Northeast from 43rd through 50th streets. Inspired by the neighborhood's reputation as a center for intellectual development, artist Brian Goggin created a work based around the book, a time-honored vehicle for the transmission of new ideas. With the help of local community members, Goggin selected local authors to feature including Sherman Alexie, Walt Crowley, Tom Robbins, Nancy Langston and Carolyn Kizer, reproducing the pages exactly as they appeared in their original editions.
According to the artist: "[T]he bronze books and etched pages carve and layer the neighborhood's breeze with stories dreamt up by local authors, creating an air-stream of ideas flowing with and shaping the traffic of social thought. Drawing inspiration from the neighborhood's activism, international influences, intellectual developments and the dissemination of those concepts into society at large, Traffic of Ideas is designed to interact with University Avenue and its pedestrians."