Ten Feet into the Future



A New Year comes with people making resolutions to better themselves into the future; the main one invariably being  to exercise more.  And for many, this usually sees a short-lived jogging epidemic that lasts about as long as an unopened bottle of champagne on the chimes of midnight going into 1st January. My resolution is each morning to do 100 lift-ups. And two days into 2014, my morning regime is working out very well – first 50 lift-ups with the left eyelid, followed by 50 with the right eyelid.


In downtown Seattle, many joggers frequent Myrtle Edwards Park that weaves scenically along Eliott Bay. And this is appropriate, because, just beside the Olympic Sculpture Park, they can get invigorated by the sight of artist David Govedare’s 1986 aluminium life-size sculpture Ten Feet into the Future that I photographed on my very bright but chilly Christmas Day walk (see, I do exercise). With the omnipresent Space Needle in the background, it shows five joggers; a more careful look reveals that the ten feet belongs to five different ethnic backgrounds are represented. The lead runner is an American Indian, symbolising that American Indians were here before all other peoples and the artist’s view that “in a spiritual sense” the Native American is leading the others onwards into the future.


Leica M3 & 50mm Summicron

B+W ND Filter (2 stop)

Sekonic L-308S

Ilford HP5+ (250)

HC-110 (Dil.H – 1:63 @ 8:30 minutes)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan



Words can be such particular things. Internationally recognised conceptual artist Ann Hamilton designed and fabricated 7,200 square feet of hardwood floor for the Seattle Public Library. The floor includes 556 lines of text, in reverse, in 11 languages and alphabets – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese – and consists of the first sentences of books found in the collection.


What makes the flooring particularly engaging is that Hamilton inverted both the characters and sentences, serving two functions: First, the floor references the history of book printing and moveable type. Second, with the backward sentences shown in relief, Hamilton provides a surface that invites people to crouch down in order to investigate and touch. “It refers to the history of print production, and it’s tactile underfoot,” Hamilton says. The idea of creating a similar floor using metal was floated during the project’s early stages, but Hamilton instead chose wood (maple), a more significant material in the history of printing.


Leica M3 & 50mm Summicron

B+W Yellow Filter

Ilford Delta 100

Sekonic L-308S

HC-110 (Dil. H – 10 minutes)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan