Ultragate

Commissioned for the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge by Trailnet, Saint Louis, Missouri. Completed summer 2006

The purpose, or utility of this installation starts with Trailnet’s intentions to bring focus and a sense of celebration to the bridge. With this as the main constraint, my purpose became one of amplifying the experience of crossing the bridge. The installation becomes a chance to re-frame this experience. Ultragate refers to this experience – to the slowly unraveling structure of the bridge as you walk across it. My intent with the  elements of this installation was to bring attention to this structure as it slowly expands overhead.

The installation contains 10 “scrim” structures stretching across the span above the roadway. Each of these structures are approximately 22 feet in length by 30 inches side. Four of them have additional triangle elements that extend approximately 14 feet down the side. The remainder have an accompanying “jacket” that extends about 15 feet down the adjacent truss structure. In addition to the “scrims” there are approximately 100 “truss jackets” ranging in size from 30 inches to 45 inches in length and wrap around various trusses along the length of the bridge. The resulting dashed lines along the trusses range in length from 15 feet to 50 feet. All of the elements have been mounted to the bridge using ratchet strap devices both as a gesture of utility, and as a means to avoid scarring the bridge with hardware attachments.

Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Missouri Department of Transportation.