In a culture in which the passage of time is often rushed, one Pellissippi State Community College faculty member has unveiled an interactive public art installation designed to encourage visitors to pause in the moment and engage in their surroundings.
Brian R. Jobe, an art adjunct faculty member, completed the permanent piece, titled “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses),” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum during the summer. The 100-linear-foot pathway is constructed of brick, mortar, and paint and is designed to increase the mindfulness of visitors who walk through it.
“‘Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses)’ is a series of open pathways allowing visitors to come in and interact with it at multiple points,” Jobe said. “The universal nature of the angled corridors creates a space of increased awareness for a person within the piece. When the zigzag motion slows visitors, they become more engaged and aware of their surroundings.
“I hope that it can be a place for people to gather, rest, move and think. It invites all ages to walk through it, lean against it, sit on top of it or next to it. That interactive experience is something people will remember being part of, and it’s designed to be a destination spot for people to return again and again.”
Jobe’s projects are focused on altering foot traffic to engage walkers in a physical, sensory experience.
To complete “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses),” Jobe partnered with General Shale, Johnson & Galyon Construction, and Sequatchie Concrete, which donated materials and labor in full. He also worked with project consultants Christopher King of Smee + Busby Architects; John McRae, a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design; and Carri Jobe, a painter and the artist’s wife.
“The use of brick and other modular building units suggests permanence, yet houses the fluid movement of the public within these passages,” said Brian Jobe. “There’s a terrific tension embedded in that dynamic of static and active.”