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Anders Barth

© 1995
(H: 6", W: 30', D: 45'

In 1995, I was awarded a grant for the installation of Fingerprint. On a vacant city lot in the Civic Center of San Francisco, I constructed a giant fingerprint made of dark adobe, it measured 6" x 30' x 45'.

The image of the fingerprint is familiar to all, and it can infer any number of ideas which are vital to the ongoing dialogue about the place and power of the individual in today's world. For me, a primary concept suggested by this image in this location is that the individual is still at the heart of all human activity, and the result of all human activity is going to affect individuals. Of course, that Fingerprint was directly across the street from City Hall gave this reading extra poignancy.

In different location, the image of fingerprint might provoke other primary responses. Keneth Baker wrote in his review of Fingerprint in the San Francisco Chronicle, "The fingerprint is a marker of individual identity... But magnified to parking lot scale, the fingerprint becomes a generic symble of cultural imposition on natural terrain, especially of the conversion of earth to private property." This aspect, humans and their affect on land, is the generative concept of the next incarnation of this artwork. I am working on finding a location and getting support for placement of a fingeerprint in Marin Co.