University of Minnesota

Adjacent Possible

Maria Artemis

Maria Artemis (born 1945, Maria Artemis Papageorge, Greensboro, NC)

Adjacent Possible, 2012

Granite and stainless steel

39 ft. h X 38 ft. w X 24 ft. w

Location: Outside the Cancer-Cardio Building, east bank campus

The new Biomedical Discovery District, Cancer and Cardiovascular Research building is designed to foster innovation. The building and plaza is the physical place made ready for this ongoing activity of discovery. “Adjacent Possible”* is a poetic response to this invitation.

The sculptural work engages the architecture and landscape, mediating between the human experience of the plaza and the scale of the building. The volumetric presence of massive blocks of granite, plays against a soaring stainless steel “organic” web, growing from the ground, tracing and defining the space above the plaza, in an open-ended dance of curving, linear pipe.

The new appears at the boundary where different conditions and perspectives meet. The creative, dynamic edge of biomedical research explores the interactions between biochemical, genetic and environmental systems. Adjacent Possible embodies this sense of fertile ideas in play.

Granite pavers and three large quarry artifacts establish a sweeping field of movement from the street through the central planting area to the building. These suggest an energetic field of potential, existing just below our awareness, gradually appearing and taking form. The granite, cut from one of the oldest continental bedrocks known, provides an allusion to the geological fundament of all life and change on the planet.

* Theoretical Biologist, Stuart Kauffman, used the term ”adjacent possible” in his book Investigations and generously allowed its use as a title for this work.

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