Yerba Buena Complex

Panoramic View of Yerba Buena Gardens and Deep Gradient/Suspect Terrain
looking west from SFMOMA

Yerba Buena Complex Phase I is an installation included in:
Bay Area Now 5 / Inside-Out, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA 2008

Yerba Buena Complex (originally called Deep Gradient Complex)

Yerba Buena Gardens may be seen geologically as an Anthropocene structural deposit of various origins resting unconformably on Cenozoic era sediments above the the Alactraz Terrane of the Franciscan Complex.  This relationship was initially examined symbolically and materially by the public sculpture, Deep Gradient/Suspect Terrain…, in the form of a descending ship made of steel and green glass, containing ocean floor sediments extracted 4 miles off the California coast, installed on the Yerba Buena site in 1993 (shown in the center of the image above). The sediments in Deep Gradient.., a reference to the primal conditions of geologic deposition and materials related ecologically, physically and conceptually to those materials used for construction of the city’s architecture and built environment. In this context, Yerba Buena Gardens, and by extension, the city is seen as a geologic formation, formed by parallel human activities: quarrying as erosion, transport as flow and construction as sedimentation. Protogaea Civica I (Franciscan Formation/San Francisco, CA), 2004, and Protogaea Civica II (Franciscan Formation/San Francisco, CA), 2005, are projects that examine and symbolically map Bay Area geology and certain site and material relationships with the built environment. Protogaea Civica II..., specifically referenced the Anthropocene copper structures of the deYoung Museum for the exhibition "High 5" in 2005.


Yerba Buena Complex Phase I & II:

Phase I - is an installation created for the exhibition, Bay Area Now 5 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 2008. This installation of Yerba Buena Complex Phase I, structurally and conceptually extends the inquiry initiated with Deep Gradient/Suspect Terrain.., to include the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts building and infrastructure as an investigation into their origin and condition as a Anthropocene geologic structure. This exploration is done symbolically by the tectonic installation of green theatrical film on the windows of the Center for the Arts as an extension of Deep Gradient..'s, green glass and its depositonal metaphor, video of the construction of Yerba Buena Gardens, gathering of sediment for the original work and the installation of the ship in 1993.  Ship design and conceptual drawings as well as an initial expression of research into the allochthonous origin of the aluminum cladding of the Center for the Arts as part of Yerba Buena Complex Phase II,

Phase II - initiated in a Phase I drawing, by beginning to consider the geologic nature of YBCA's aluminum cladding, Yerba Buena Complex Phase II, is a theoretical inquiry into the geologic origins of of the primary architectural materials, for the entire Yerba Buena site and potentially selected other architecture such as SFMOMA. This is a process similar to SITE INDEX, 2001-09, at the University of Minnesota. Phase II, in it's fullest form, would have other elements, such as: algae and green glass architectural interventions as shown in these preliminary studies for Phase I, that for various reasons were not implmented. Phase II at this point has no venue or funding. 


BAN5 Installation -Yerba Buena Complex Phase I; Drawings/Video of Yerba Buena Complex Phase I; Yerba Buena Complex Phase II; Yerba Buena Complex - Preliminary Studies