Entwined is still shining nightly at Golden Gate Park, but some of its pieces have just branched out to UN Plaza, and these shrub sculptures will be lit up there every night for up to two years.
If you’ve visited this year’s incarnation of the Entwined LED sculpture at Golden Gate Park. you’ve noticed it has the dazzling new addition of a 30-foot mega-tree sculpture called Elder Mother that towers over the rest of the installation. But at the same time, this year’s installation has fewer of the smaller tree and shrub sculptures surrounding that one giant tree. So where are the smaller sculptures?
Some of them are now at UN Plaza at Civic Center. SF Rec and Park announced in a Thursday press release that “Beginning Friday night, elements from artist Charles Gadeken’s illuminated installation Entwined Meadow will dazzle visitors to UN Plaza with changing light and color.”
But SFist went by UN Plaza Thursday night, and the razzle-dazzle light show is already up and running. It’s another component of the UN Plaza makeover that hopes to clean up the plaza known for its unsavory characteristics.
“I’m excited to have my art downtown to do my part in bringing the magic back to downtown San Francisco,” Entwined artist Charles Gadeken tells SFist. “UN Plaza is looking great and I’m glad to be part of the change.”
This is not the whole Entwined meadow of tree and shrub sculptures currently placed up at UN Plaza. But it is nine of the shrub sculptures, each with hundreds of LED lights that pulse with a constantly changing array of color combinations every night once the sun goes down.
And each shrub is equipped with a QR code that allows visitors to control and play with the LED color schemes using their smartphones.
A Rec and Parks spokesperson tells SFist that the Entwined display at UN Plaza could remain there for “up to two years.” Whereas the Entwined Elder Mother display outside Golden Gate Park’s Peacock Meadow is scheduled to remain on display until April 28.
All of the Entwined pieces and elements are produced at a Bayview maker space called the Box Shop, which is also the birthplace of well-recognized artworks by the Flaming Lotus Girls and Dana Albany. Regrettably, the Box Shop has lost its lease, but is working on a fundraising campaign to procure a new space.
Sure, people are going to scoff that this lovely display is just going to get destroyed amidst the general sketchiness that has defined UN Plaza as we know it for many years. But we are now three months into the plaza’s transformation into a place for skateboarding and games. And three months in, we haven’t seen the fitness court, table tennis tables, chess boards, or foosball table destroyed. That said, the Entwined elements do contain electronic circuitry that the other new park features don’t have, so we will see how this all works out.
Thus far, though, the attempt to transform UN Plaza into something a little more family-friendly seems to be at least marginally successful. Oh sure, there are still sore feelings over the twice-weekly farmers’ market that got kicked out and forced to move a block over to Fulton Plaza. And that's fair. But with the addition of these Entwined elements, there's no arguing the plaza looks a lot better after dark.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist