Tilted Arc was a massive public sculpture by American artist Richard Serra, installed in Federal Plaza, New York City, in 1981. Made of steel, Serra’s signature material, it curved directly across the entirety of the plaza, and was built as a site-specific work. Tilted Arc was commissioned by the United States General Services Administration as part of a program to install permanent art in public spaces for new government buildings. However, there was controversy surrounding the piece from the very beginning. Government employees who worked on Federal Plaza collected over a thousand signatures to have it removed because of its obtrusiveness and perceived ugliness. But the opposition to Tilted Arc did not gain any real traction until 1984, when a new head of the GSA was appointed. At this point, a public forum was held, in which hundreds of people spoke for and against the removal of the work. 122 spoke against the removal, and 58 spoke in favor. The jury voted to have it removed. In 1989, Tilted Arc was removed from Federal Plaza in pieces, and put into storage indefinitely. The piece, designed only and specifically for the plaza, was effectively destroyed.
released September 15, 2017
Music written, performed, and produced by Tilted Arc (Sophia Subbayya Vastek and Sam Torres)
Written and recorded at Avaloch Farm Music Institute, June 2017