A to Z – 2023 – K is for Joseph Kosuth who designed WFT (Word Family Tree)

I used to see this interesting set of words on the side of the Bill Graham Auditorium in 2020 when I was driving my son to and from work, which gave me the idea for that year’s A to Z. I didn’t write about it then but I was pleasantly surprised to see it pop up in this year’s Illuminate SF exhibit.

Wrapped around the building is a string of words which form the “Word Family Tree” of civic and auditorium. Designed by Joseph Kosuth, the lighted words were installed in 2019 and represent the first major project funded by the City’s Public Art Trust. Mr. Kosuth describes his work as follows:

The structure of this installation has two parts: the etymology of the words ‘Civic’ and ‘Auditorium’ in white neon on the western façade. The word ‘Civic’ is intricately connected to the long history of civil rights activism that has taken place (and continues to take place) in the plaza–from Gay Rights to Black Lives Matter. The word ‘Auditorium’ on the other hand is more specific to the building itself, referring to the collective audience assembled by Bill Graham, who found a way, as a concert promoter to not only promote concerts but also community. It is only in the present when a word is used, as it is with a work of art being experienced, that all which comprises the present finds its location in the process of making meaning. Here, in this work, language becomes both an allegory and an actual result of all of which it would want to speak.

From where I parked, I could only see this side of the building. The “Auditorium” tree is on the other side. The front of the building had the rainbow colors in the window that I included in my “I” post. I have to say that when I first saw the letters “WFT” I read them as “WTF” and wondered how that would work out. Then I read the description and realized I had the letters mixed up. – LOL

Best Viewing: Anytime after dusk, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove Street, SF.

We are moving right along here in our A to Z Challenge. See you tomorrow for “L.”

About scr4pl80

I'm a 60-ish, married, mom to 3, creative soul looking to make the world a better place one smile at a time.
This entry was posted in A to Z Challenge 2023 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A to Z – 2023 – K is for Joseph Kosuth who designed WFT (Word Family Tree)

  1. Pingback: A to Z – 2023 – Reflection | Janet's Smiles

  2. How neat and pretty this is. Reminds me of when we dissected sentences in school.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mollyscanopy says:

    I love this concept! Especially because as a genealogist I deal with personal family trees. This extends the concept since, if you go back far enough, we are all family.

    Liked by 1 person

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