Please Do Not Disturb the Sand



Look what happens when museum culture intersects with an installation?

Urban legend tells that the creators of the FedEx logo had no idea they’d created an arrow in the middle. Happenstance, so the legend goes, the logo took on a life of its own, earning design awards for the subliminal message.

I like to think that this installation at the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College has that same kind of potential. The main exhibit hall is dedicated to Sci-Fi through October. And be it that this museum is free of charge and kid friendly, you have no excuse not to check things out if you live in the greater Philly area.

While I want to believe this artist – Andrew Yang – is my next besty in the efforts of artists to make bold statements to bridge gap between climate issue and global tipping points, I think this is merely another FedEx happy accident**.

Yang – a Georgia native and now residing in Chicago, Illinois – composed this piece allegedly as a tribute to Carl Sagan and his celestial regard.

“…each star is represented by one grain of sand.”

A Beach (For Carl Sagan), 2016

But what drew me to the piece, pardon my ignorance Mr. Yang and Mr. Sagan, was a funny-ish fusion in my mind between the museum prompt, “Please Do Not Disturb the Sand” and a running melody in my head – of late – that art sometimes imitates life. Art, sometimes, even in a happy accident moment like this, says exactly what I’ve been trying to formulate and spread as a message re: climate and Earth’s native inhabitants (like stone to dust or sand, land just the way it was born, or water in its infinite states and placement).

So, when I went to the free museum on a typical Sunday for family time, I left with much more. I had that transcendent experience that art and nature provide, expanding my own growing points of view and marrying that with imagination.

Congrats to the Berman Museum of Art and Andrew Yang for sharing this vital masterpiece with me, my family, and my virtual world.

Go forward, friendly readers, and create your own clever thing of natural genius!


** FYI, despite what people have told me over the years, I just looked it up – and seems like the subliminal arrow in the FedEx logo – created in 1994 – by Linden Leader and Landor – was quite deliberate in its genius. But, my story is better told with the suspension of reality. No?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s