New directions, post 9/11
FINAL FORM-Concrete Products Magazine
88 • January 2007 www.concreteproducts.com
Visitors to this month’s World of Concrete in Las Vegas will discover a one-of-a-kind
Installation in the Artistry of Decorative Concrete exhibition area. Designed by a
Naples, Fla., artist, who prefers to be known simply as San, the concrete pipe sculpture is the first of a series of 11 similar installations planned for cities nationwide
in response to the devastation of September 11, 2001. In each case, one of two 8-ft.-high, 10-ton pipe components—a cylinder placed horizontally or an upright connector piece with cut outs—will bear San’s painted version of four common road signs to
highlight the 9/11 theme. A merge-traffic symbol comprising solid vertical lines separated by dashes, for example, is seen by the artist as the World Trade Center towers, one falling as the other stands. Every installation, customized for its specific
location, will contribute to the overall message of the “911SAN” project, envisioned as a tribute to rebuilding in the aftermath of the WTC attacks and connections uniting Americans in that effort. San explains, “After all the horrific images of 9/11,
I hope the installations will enable people to see things in a more organized way. Creating order out of chaos is the means to heal and move on.”
Reflecting the electronic games of Las Vegas’ casino culture, computer binary code denoting 9/11/2001 will be engraved on the exterior of the sculpture displayed at World of Concrete 2007. Product for the installation will be provided by Geneva Pipe of Nevada in Moapa. A final destination following its WOC stint will be announced at the trade show. Several options are pending,
including a permanent home at the New York New York Hotel and Casino or on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus.
San emphasizes that locations around the U.S. are necessary to complete the project: “Creating the sculptures is never difficult. Financing them through sponsors and finding them a home is key.”
The artist’s website, www.sancrete.com , offers T-shirts for purchase to support
the project as well as a page to facilitate monetary donations by PayPal.
The sculptures’ installation and design will facilitate observation from all angles
As you walk inside to examine the painted symbols, the artist notes, allowing viewers to emerge with a different perspective on 9/11.
San, the artist, attributes her appreciation of concrete to a family line of skilled
Masons and concrete finishers, including both maternal and paternal relatives. Pictured in the 1953 photo above is the truck (and dog, Pal) of her maternal grandfather, Elea, head of Elea and Son Mason Contractors in the Black Oak
subdivision of Gary, Ind. San’s paternal grandfather and father were also accomplished craftsmen in northwest Indiana’s concrete trades. In the context of “911SAN” installations, conventional traffic symbols take on new meaning.
The Las Vegas installation, like those to follow in the Project Eleven series, has been customized for its locale: binary code signaling 9/11/2001 reflects the computer-based gaming culture of the city’s casinos.
Click for a printable version of the Concrete Products magazine article about San