Hidden Art: San Francisco’s The Wave Organ

Looking for something that hasn’t been Instagrammed to death? Well, I think we found it.

A few months ago, I decided I needed to immerse myself in art. It’s a world unfamiliar to me, yet increasingly intriguing. I find the majority of my visual inspiration in places I assume we share — Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr —  and mostly via a cell phone or computer screen. I love finding a world of inspiration at my fingertips. However, I couldn’t help but feel there were things I was missing. I quickly realized it was the act of experiencing art that I was lacking. Being a person that likes things a little out of the ordinary, I found myself researching uncommon and rare art galleries and museums. It was soon after making this realization that I stumbled upon – and subsequently became smitten with  – a San Francisco-based interactive art sculpture. Coincidentally, I was already making 300+ mile trip from LA. I would have to make a pit stop.

thewaveorgan

Welcome to The Wave Organ, an acoustic structure built in 1986 on a Marina District jetty in the San Francisco Bay. The wave-activated phonic design is made up of 25 organ pipes made of PVC and concrete built on different levels within the site, cushioning the tides’ rise and fall. The music emanating from the Organ occurs as the waves crash against the pipe ends, creating a serial motion of water in and out of the pipes. The jetty itself is constructed out of material from a demolished cemetery – which only adds to its mystifying and lovely aura – as well as carved granite and marble, was also used in the construction of the art site. Inspired by Bill Fontana’s recordings of sound emanating from pipes anchored on a dock in Sydney, Australia, artist Peter Richards took The Wave Organ idea to San Francisco, and installed it in collaboration with sculptor and master stone mason, George Gonzales.

The result of their collaboration? Subtle sensory overload, and exactly what my curious heart needed. If you find yourself in the San Francisco area, please visit this hidden piece of art. Grab a tea, sit and relax. Bask in the (foggy) beauty of the bay and open yourself up to the music.

thewaveorgan

thewaveorgan

thewaveorgan

thewaveorgan

thewaveorgan

thewaveorgan

thewaveorgan

+Where are some of your favorite places to explore art? I’d love to know, so leave your picks in the comments!

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