I chose this rough metal telescope sculpture because looking to the stars always conjures a beautiful image. In the industrialized, urban first world, light pollution prevents us from gazing upwards and enjoying the view. Despite this, astrophysics remains one of the most exciting fields today, with new discoveries constantly being made. NASA’s mars rover recently found evidence of superficial salt water, which used to be a subject of science fiction. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appears on talk shows and interviews announcing his plans for colonizing the red planet, and even goes into detail on how it can be accomplished relatively soon. Even if this telescope were real, you’d barely see anything of interest thanks to our city’s brightness, but also due to the telescope’s relatively small size.
However, to me this telescope is no longer about observing the photons radiating off of celestial bodies (looking at stars). This telescope is looking into the future, a symbol of exciting advancements and discoveries to come. It’s a metaphor for scientific progress, and the potential everyone has to grab a telescope themselves and unfold the mysteries of the universe.
And the people at the High Line will walk by it without a second thought.