Introducing a new art installation on Stanford’s Science and Engineering Quad

Stanford published this video item, entitled “Introducing a new art installation on Stanford’s Science and Engineering Quad” – below is their description.

Pars Pro Toto (Alicja Kwade, 2021), reaches for the cosmos while staying grounded in the geological history of our planet.

Twelve stone globes scattered across the quad resemble a galaxy of small planets, as if the cosmos had been laid down at our feet. Each stone represents a self-contained world or universe, drawing on the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which suggests that all possible alternate histories and futures are real.

The positioning of the globes was determined by chance: The artist threw tiny spheres onto a model of the Stanford Science and Engineering Quad to dictate placement.

The natural stones come from several different continents of our Earth. The material of the stone itself, with layers that have formed over billions of years, acts as a kind of timescale. Each corner of the world and layer of Earth yields a multitude of stone varieties, colors and textures so that no two stones are alike. True to the meaning of the Latin phrase pars pro toto – “a part for the whole” – the stones individually and collectively evoke the micro and macro scales of our existence.

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