Location: Santa Monica, CA, United States
Completion date: 2013
Vector Custom Fabricating
James Corner Field Operations
Christop Grimes Projects
This site-specific sculpture by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is composed of 49 telescoping stainless steel poles aligned in a highly ordered grid. Alternating at heights of 19, 20 and 21 feet, each pole supports a weathervane and anemometer. These finely tuned instruments are designed to accurately respond to prevailing wind conditions, gauging wind speed and direction. In Weather Field, the close grouping of the poles augments the instruments’ standard function. Instead of only mapping the wind in a conventional manner, the sculpture also uses crowding as a condition to trigger and reveal turbulence, a much more mysterious phenomenon. Sited at the crest of a gentle berm of meadow grasses, Weather Field announces itself from a great distance as well as a number of vantage points in the park. The rigid verticality of the stainless steel sculpture contrasts and compliments both the flowing landscaping beneath it and the natural forces at play in its canopy. Depending on which way the viewer approaches the sculpture; the poles may align themselves as a transparent set of columns or may reveal themselves to be a random forest of slender elements. As such Weather Field serves to gauge the viewer’s movement and provide coordinates as they navigate the park or contemplate the weather.
Weather Field strikes a balance between the order of the instrument grid and the unpredictable response of its kinetic elements to produce its own microclimate. In its peculiar climate the instruments influence and react to one another, flocking and schooling like birds in the air and fish in the sea. It serves as a constant reminder of our connection to both local and global conditions and might also call to mind the subtle affects we each have on one another.
Installed in Tongva Park, Santa Monica, CA