KAREN TOMPKINS

The Archimedes Obelisk is dedicated to the worlds’ first physicist, Archimedes. The many mathematical equations he and other scientists have contributed to the unraveling of the mysteries of nature are etched on the exterior of the gold colored surface of the obelisk. These“beautiful equations” that have lead us to understand our world and the underlying laws that create it beckon the viewer to the beauty of numbers.


J.O.Y. (Jpeg Of You) is a yellow fiberglass kiosk that stands 8ʼx5ʼx5ʼ. The kiosk houses a “photo booth” style set up where one person at a time enters and presses a button which takes their picture. After they have their picture taken in the kiosk, they enter their email address on a key pad in front of them and their portrait is sent to their email address and to a 20ʼx 40ʼ video screen on the facade of the adjacent building facade, which is visible to the surrounding urban area. The video screen projects a moving collage of all the people who have participated in J.O.Y. This project randomly creates a community of people who are joined in the ongoing art piece on the video screen and define the meaning of the word “community” in a unique visual stream.


Archimedes Obelisk

J.O.Y.

Time Capsule, explores impermanence and entropy. From “Arrows of Time” to the inevitable “passage of time” there is the desire to transcend the march of history and project what we value into a future that can only be rendered by imagination and vision. The anchoring presence in the installation “Time Capsule” is a large ovoid form, a ribbed Faberge egg from outer space. Immense and mysterious, the copper colored capsule and surrounding coil invite the viewer into a timeless realm. What fills the inner space of the time capsule? Messages from people of today to people in a distant future. Their messages are written on lapis lazuli colored plaques and secreted into the hidden slot. Time Capsule generates a mood of participation, simultaneously festive and reverent, This intervention will invite pedestrians to capture time by placing their individual marks on the future.
Red Ball, rolls out excitement and drama from the top of a grand staircase. A swath of red billows down the stairs from a ten foot wide ball of red fabric. As it unwinds a swath of red creates at trail of high visual impact demanding the viewers attention and curiosity.

Time Capsule

Red Ball

Installation