Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Oculus #33, 1998.

Stone mosaic on walls throughout Chambers Street station complex (A & C trains); also, there is a stone and glass floor mosaic at Park Place entrance, which connects to this station via a tunnel.

Artists: Andrew Ginzel & Kristin Jones.

Image: GrrlScientist, 3 January 2009 [larger view].

Oculus is located in passageways under the World Trade Center and was largely untouched by the events of 9/11. Oculus will also be visible at the Cortlandt Street Station after construction is completed. Jones and Ginzel’s work consists of over 300 unique mosaic renderings that use the oculus — the eye — as the central symbol. In their words, “Oculus was created to personalize and integrate the stations. Eyes are both subtle and strong – they engage passing individuals, allowing for meditation or inviting dialogue.” The eyes are from the artists’ photographs taken in New York, which were selected for the diversity of the subjects’ eyes. An enormous central eye set in the floor, grounds the composition and serves as the centerpiece of a map of the world which radiates outward.

I have photographed glass tile mosaic artworks from several NYC subway stations now, so far, all are westside Manhattan subway lines; including the Christopher Street/Sheridan Square platform, Cathedral Parkway/110th Street platform (downtown-bound 1 train only); the mezzanine walls of the 42nd Street (Times Square) for the A, C and E trains; 42nd street/Times Square upstairs platform (1, 2 & 3 trains); 42nd Street/Times Square passageway between the 8th Avenue/Port Authority Bus Terminal (A, C, & E trains) and the 7th Avenue/Broadway (1, 2, & 3 trains) platforms; West 66th street/Lincoln Center Station (1 train); West 34th Street/Pennsylvania Station (A, C & E trains); Chambers Street (A & C trains); Houston Street (1 train); and Pennsylvania “Penn” station (1, 2 & 3 trains) [subway art archives] and, my favorite subway station of all, the American Museum of Natural History station at 81st and Central Park West (B & C trains) [AMNH archives].