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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What the Robot Saw in Doughboy Square um Triangle

11/25/12 28M
A surprisingly nice day, a bit better than the forecast or it's possible that I just get a lot more positive once I've been riding for a while.

Started at the Bastille at 1100 so that the planet would have some time to warm up. Often on Sundays S. and I will ride to places that present too much automobile traffic on other days to take mural photos, but today was not a day for stopping, lollygagging and skylarking; rather, today was a day for pedaling and keeping warm, harumphh harumphh.

We rode out to Millvale, crossed the Allegheny River using the 40th Street Bridge, then stopped to take another look at the new Doughboy Square mural under said bridge, adjacent to the National Robotics Engineering Center. (That juxtaposition is kind of essential to grokking this mural.)

This is how Doughboy Square (which is shaped like a triangle, nevermind) in Lawrenceville looked to me, this morning when I took this photo:

When I look at the soldier I see the gas mask, the leggings, and the bayonet, and I think about mustard gas, trench warfare, and mass-produced slaughter and now it's 100 years later and what have we learned? Ah well.

The mural was designed by Ben Grocholsky and Elise Gatti of the National Robotics Engineering Center, and was painted by Richard Washek. The next photo (below) is the designer's concept of the mural, projected onto a photo of the bridge. It's what a robot would see when it enters Lawrenceville's Doughboy Square and scans the environment. In other words, it's a robot's perception of Doughboy Square.

How cool is that? This was a photo of the work in progress:

And this is the final work:

I'm not sure how perfectly the intent is conveyed, and probably the persistence of the kayak rack is aesthetically suboptimal. But if the role of art is to present routine, known things in a new perspective, and if the essence of Lawrenceville is a historic community shifting into cutting-edge technologies, then this is a completely appropriate piece of art for this place and time (in case you were wondering).

Came across this in the Strip District, I believe it's a formation flight delivering Guinness:

Also in the strip, the mural at Kelly O's Diner is coming closer to completion:

Rode to Point State Park, the Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge. Stopped at Big Dog Coffee and it seemed like the sun came out; rode down to Keystone Metals, the Station Square Trail, and back to the cars which were still there. 28 miles on a pleasantly surprising day. (6417+28=6445 ytd)

1 comment:

  1. did some scanning over your page...
    lots of images

    your everyday sites and my everyday sites are very different

    got to ride your home turf for my Thanksgiving Holiday Tradition

    as much as I dig the roads of the South Hills area with all of their quad burning climbs, I do prefer the relaxing car free Montour Trail...
    LOVING the extension to the north
    tempted to ride back to DC on one of these visits