San Francisco first boomed in population because of the Gold Rush, when nearby gold mineral deposits were found in 1848 in Coloma, California. Now a tech-boomtown, fueled by neighboring Silicon Valley, much of San Francisco’s population rely on the minerals embedded in digital devices (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, among others). Both gold and digital tech devices are status items contributing the rumor of fantastic riches long associated with the dream many people share when moving to San Francisco.
Mineral Benches: A California History is a series exploring the industrial uses and historical relevance of minerals that have shaped San Francisco. Crystalline-formed sculptural benches and chairs will accurately depict the minerals they represent (e.g. a gold nugget, a silvery piece of tantalum, a heavy chunk of tungsten, the brilliant blue of California’s gemstone Benitoite, etc.), playfully many times larger than actual ore specimens.
A sign, placard, or more subtle markings will be on each piece identifying the mineral it represents, common uses of the mineral, and a story or facts about how that mineral consumption relates to the San Francisco Bay Area. The person encountering the benches will have a place to rest while learning about the mineral’s geological basics, mining practices, industrial applications and the social and environmental implications of the minerals experienced locally. Mineral Benches: A California History creates a surreal landscape on Market Street, making a space for people to meet, relax, take photos and learn.
If selected we would like to work with district captains to find appropriate community partners. For example, California Geological Survey and Department of Conservation (www.consrv.ca.gov/cgs/Pages/In...
) Mineral Benches: A California History could consult with geological organizations to curate the most interesting and relevant information to pair with the mineral benches.
If selected, we’d consult with and work with local artist/sculptor Mary Anne Kluth to build the structures. Kluth has worked as a restoration painter at Children’s Fairyland and is experienced in constructing large “theme park style” faux-rocks.
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