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A Gigantic play experience at the Hunters Point Shipyard

Gigantry is an interactive public sculpture in the form of a scaled and stylized model of the 450-ton bridge crane that dominates the southern vistas from the hilltop of the Hunters Point Housing development in San Francisco. By referencing the formal characteristics of the crane, Gigantry samples a dominant visual element of the area’s historic military infrastructure and recasts it as a playful, interactive sculpture.

The bridge crane, designed and built to load weapons on and off ships of war, is an enormous and visually arresting landmark, visible from numerous points around the Bay Area. The crane is also the visual capstone to the military legacy of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard which reaches back more than a century. This legacy is often associated with an attitude of dominance and indifference to the long-term welfare and desires of the local community that has, over the years, called Hunters Point home. The crane stands as an enduring but contradictory symbol of this complicated military history that at once gives the community its identity, but burdens it with a history that is still finding its way toward justice and equality.

Gigantry – in conjunction with the ongoing Hunters Point Redevelopment project – is intended, in some small way, to signify the beginning of a process of social remediation – symbolically  confronting this troubling legacy and reclaiming a visual landscape that has been dominated, for decades, by military infrastructure. Gigantry is designed to reconfigure this landscape and present a positive gaze toward a newly revitalized human habitat in this historically marginalized area of San Francisco.

Gigantry was commissioned by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and will be fabricated and installed in 2013.

Date: 2010–2013
Client: San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
Location: San Francisco, CA