Installed as Contra Puente, November 18, 2016, as part of the 100 en un Día Urban intervention Festival, Santiago, Chile.
La ciudad enferma es rescatable is a temporary, site-specific installation suspended from the Racalamac Bridge, Santiago, Chile.
It consists of 288 builder's plumb bobs, each inscribed with this phrase and suspended on plumb lines to trace an inverted form of the bridge. The work spans the 35 metres of the river section of the bridge and creates a moving arched screen of 11 metres at the counter zenith that touches the river that is a torrent.
The title phrase is attributed to the 19th century Intendant of Santiago, Vicuña Mackenna, who changed the city's form through the creation of public spaces that included the canalisation of the Mapocho River. The Racalamac Bridge is a 1950s pedestrian bridge designed to span two flows: the flow of the canalized Mapocho River and the flow of traffic on one of the expressways that changed the city form and public space in the 20th century.
La ciudad enferma es rescatable manifests these urban design intentions and the responding natural counter currents: the tunnelled wind blows in the opposite direction to that of the river's managed turbulence while the expressway swarm of drivers are oblivious to both. Pedestrians are the audience for an augmentation of the transient space of the bridge and the space created below that is the torrent.
From above, the kinetic sculpture is viewed as a complex set of undulating parabolas. From the rivers vertiginous edge, the plumb bobs appear to hover independently from this billowing miasma of lines. In nature's canalised wind, the plumb lines and bobs form a counter swarm but obey the swarm's logic – constantly moving and recalibrating a minimum distance from each other – the lines obey a torrents turbulence – complex curves of intricate disentanglement.
- Dr Anthony McInneny - RMIT CAST member and Conjoint Fellow University of Newcastle School of Architecture and the Built Environment
- Dr Beatriz Maturana Cossio University of Chile, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism and Adjunct Professor RMIT University, GUSS