Art On the Plaza

Michael Christian

Michael
Born and raised in Texas
BFA Univ Tx in Austin
Apprenticed with Sculptor Luis Jimenez
michaelchristian.com/

Through the generosity of the City of Berkeley and the Civic Arts Commission the Plaza is excited to feature Home by local sculptor Michael Christian. Home was selected by the Civic Arts Commission and will be on display on the plaza for one year.

Michael Christian has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area since the summer of 1995 and has been in his current studio, Xian Productions in Berkeley, for the past 11 years. Some of Michael’s work have found permanent homes in the Bay Area as well as abroad.

“I’m inspired by the genius of nature and build things that make me smile. I attempt to use the simplest language and smallest words possible. I build large fun and playful sculptures.”  -- Michael Christian

HOME (2010)

Home is a 13 foot tall illuminated globe created with multiple layers of metal cut in the shapes of street maps from cities around the world. Installed at our city’s central transit hub, this artwork speaks to the interconnectedness of all people and places around the world.

BRAINCHILD (2015)

Another example of Michael's work include this 21ft tall by 30ft wide, interactive steel sculpture, "Brain Child", with Warren Trezevant, Dallas Swindle, Chad Mitchner, Orion Fredericks, and Taylor Harrison.

Chris Brown


composer, electronic musician, pianist, improvisor, instrument-builder
http://cbmuse.com/

Through the generosity of the City of Berkeley and the Civic Arts Commission the Plaza is excited to feature a sound installation called Flow In Place by local composer Chris Brown. Chris’s original piece is the first sound art installation commissioned by the Civic Arts Commission for the new sound poles located on the plaza. Chris’s installation will run for two months. Check the schedule for run times.

Chris Brown is a composer, pianist and electronic musician.  He makes music with self-designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. His compositions are designs for performances in which people bring to life the musical structures embedded in scores, instruments, and machines.  Chris is a founding member of The HUB, the pioneering network music ensemble and was Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College in Oakland, California from 1990-2018. http://www.cbmuse.com

“Collaboration and improvisation are consistent themes in my work, along with the invention and performance of new electronic instruments and software.” – Chris Brown

Flow In Place (2018)

Chris’s sound installation for the Berkeley BART plaza suggests conversations between distant places, environments, people, rituals, and parties on a global scale.  The plaza’s eight sound poles create a sonic corridor through which excerpts of stereophonic recordings of outdoor music performances and natural sounds from Cuba, Bali, India, and the U.S. move in a free-flowing collage to accompany the movement of pedestrians to and from the BART station.  Polyrhythms from many cultures and places merge together, interpreting everyday movement as dance.

Check out more examples of his work below with "Imaginary Birds" and "The Thorn".

Imaginary Birds (2008)
Piano solo, or piano, cello, and percussion, with interactive computer; based on Olivier Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques.

The Thorn (2017)
Recorded excerpt from live performance at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, 11.18.2018; with Chris Brown, keyboard and electronics, and William Winant, percussion.