Project Updates: Semaphore, Landmarks Wales, Couple

In the last eight months, I have written on a number of projects with open questions. Here are some answers.
Artist Ben Rubin announces the message and recognizes the code crackers. Rubin sponsored an awardless competition to read the semaphore. The message was deciphered in a couple of days, but Rubin waited a year. The message was the first sentence from Thomas Pynchon’s ‘The Crying of Lot 49″.
NBC Report from San Jose with the code crackers
THE MESSAGE: “One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executer, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.”
First Aesthetic Grounds’ Essay
Only the uninspired artworks were selected for the Landmark Wales competition. These simple towers are completely forgetable and generic. I had higher hopes for my grandmother’s people in Wales.
The Winners in Wales
Mid Ocean Studios IncBrenda Oakes and CIRICMichael W Cook
Picks by Aesthetic Grounds
Simeon NelsonInfanger and ParkerOpenarch
First Aesthetic Grounds Essay
I agreed with my first appraisal that the work is mundane and does not substantially honor the working class people of Newbiggin. Henry’s emotionally detached figures bring very little to the imagination except for the loneliness of marriage. Compare with Gormley in Liverpool or the lovely stone church floating on the spit.
Both Henry and Gormley owe a note thanks to the Native peoples of the North American continent. The tall totem poles always face the sea. Both the contemporary and traditional figures join together with us glazing at the waves. Viewing the works is secondary to joining the works. (The architect Palladio used this same “joining” in his 16th century theater with Roman figures watching the play with the audience)
First, here is Anthony Gormley from his 2006 temporaty installation in Liverpool, UK.
Gormley in Liverpool. Photo by lupin_pooter on flickr
See the Save the Gormleys Blog
Second, here is Sean Henry’s “Couple” in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, UK
“Couple”, Photo by Colin Mitchelson, hojacm on flickr (I emailed Colin due to his photos on Flickr and he graciously took a photo. Thank you so much.)
The historic church in the same field of view as “Couple”. Photo by Colin Mitchelson
Night installation of “Couple” in August 2007
“Couple” in the studio by Sean Henry
Site Plan on Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. “Couple” on the waterbreak in the center of the cove.
First Aesthetic Grounds Essay
See the Continued Section for Comment from Chelsea Todd of Newbiggin.

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Comment from Newbiggin. Chelsea Todd and Family
we were there the night the statue was put up. my grandparents have lived in newbiggain for 40 years+. and i am saddend that such a monstersity was put up in such a beautiful place. a quote from my grandfather of 88 years, (he was born and bred in Newbiggain, and was working down the ‘MINES'(which he almost lost his life in) in this ‘FISHING VILLAGE’) HIS QUOTE “If they had to put up any statue, could it not have been something relevent to the area, such as a couble (fishing boat), or something concerned with the mines, as it is a fishing and mining village”. i am a 15 year old, and have been going tho Newbiggain sins i was little, and i personally feel that it ruins the beauty, of this picturesce bay. and has brought alot of distress to the residence of this lovely village, my grandparents incuded.

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